China on Pace to Pass U.S. for World’s Biggest Oil Importer by 2017


According to a report released this week by Wood Mackenzie, China and the U.S. are heading in opposite directions for crude oil imports.  If the trends continue, China will be the world’s largest importer of oil by 2017.  This shift has been driven by two things.. 1) More Chinese consumption (notably the increase in automobiles on the roads.. from 20 million to 160 million from 2005 to 2020).. and 2) A shale boom in the U.S. that is lessening our reliance on imports. By 2020 our OPEC crudes will fall to 33% of U.S. total imports.

Most interestingly, the report noted the shift in demand by the two largest economies in the world.  While China’s demand will be supplied by the Middle East and OPEC crude, the U.S. is becoming more North American-centric for its supply – – a stark difference, OPEC is also shifting its focus from the U.S. to China – – understandably.  Bottom line, China’s importing more, and we’re importing less.

Also from the report… 

China is on track to spend US$500bn on crude oil imports by 2020

China’s demand will grow from 2.5 million barrels per day in 2005 to 9.2 million barrels per day

By 2020, 70% of China’s demand will come from imports

Click here to access the complete report 

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