China strives to erase image of oil guzzling dragon

Sep 29, 2005 02:00 AM

Striving to erase its image of a oil guzzling dragon that together with India is putting pressure on global crude supplies and prices, China stressed that its oil imports "never cast a threat upon the world's energy safety".
In a well-attended presentation on the concluding day of the 18th World Petroleum Congress, senior officials of state-owned Chinese companies drove home the point that contrary to world perception, China's oil imports take a low proportion of the world's total oil imports.

Quoting from the "BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2005", Li Hui, senior vice president of Sinochem, pointed out that China's total imports of 149.7 mm tons of oil in 2004 constituted 6.29 % of global trade volume.
This "was far lower than the import volume of the US and Japan, while being equivalent to that of South Korea, Germany and France. Even if China's oil import volume rises to 250 mm tons in 2020, it will account for 42.37 % of the US total import volume of 590 mm tons in 2004 and same as the import volume of Japan in 2004," he said.

He disclosed that while China had emerged as the second largest oil importer and sixth biggest oil producer, it is also a major exporter of petroleum products with refining capacity of over 300 mm tons.
China's oil consumption is expected to reach 370 mm tons by 2010 and may rise to 450 mm tons by 2020, by when its domestic output is likely to be 200 mm tons, "which means the oil import volume in 2010 would be 170 mm and may go up to 250 mm tons in 2020", said Li.

Wu Yaowen, vice chairman of the Chinese National Committee for World Petroleum Congress, pointed out that coal accounts for the highest share of 68.5 % in China's energy mix with oil accounting for 21.4 % and gas only 3 %, while primary power and other resources contribute the remaining 7.1 %.
"China is a major country in energy consumption but a major energy producer as well," said Wu. "Currently the self-sufficiency ratio of primary energy keeps at over 90 % in China. There is still space for oil production increase domestically and great potential exists in natural gas as well."

He stressed the fact that through energy conservation, China had been able to reduce the annual growth demand for oil from 12.5 %, as witnessed in 2004, to 5.3 % in the first half of 2005. With 27 oil and natural gas production bases established on land and offshore, China's oil production in 2004 reached 3.5 mm bpd and natural gas 4 bn cfpd, making it the fifth major oil producing country globally.
Based on estimates of 140 of the 450 sedimentary basins with oil and gas exploration prospects, China's assessed recoverable reserves are estimated to be 19.3 bn tons of oil and 17.5 tcm of gas.

The officials disclosed that over 20 petrochemical systems predominated by large petrochemical complexes have been built with the capacity for primary crude processing of 6.3 mm bpd and putting China in the second place globally in the production of ethylene and major synthetic materials.
Zhou Shouwei, vice president of China National Offshore Oil Corporation, said that till the end of last year, the company had signed 61 petroleum contracts and agreements with 71 corporations in 18 countries and regions in its quest to acquire new technologies for some projects it is undertaking. This includes a 12-mm ton Nanhai Refinery project for processing heavy crude. Construction of the project is expected to begin later this year and production will start in the first half of 2008.

Source: IANS
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