China increasingly reliant on imported fuel supplies

Jul 05, 2000 02:00 AM

With demand for oil booming while domestic production stagnates, China will become increasingly reliant on imported supplies to fuel its growing economy.
Demand for oil will reach 200 mm tons this year and is expected to rise by 4 % each following year. Domestic production, however, reached just 160 mm tons in 1999 and has been hampered by a scarcity of new discoveries and technical breakthroughs to extract current reserves, it said.
Reliance on imports is expected to grow, with imported oil set to contribute 40 % of total oil supplies consumed by 2010.

China is the world's fifth largest oil producer, but rapid economic growth forced it to change from an exporter to an importer of oil in 1993. Increased reliance on imports forced China to deregulate crude oil prices two years ago, although imports of gasoline and other oil products have been banned to protect domestic refineries, which are operating well below capacity.

Source: AP
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