• 3 minutes Looming European Gas Crisis in Winter and North African Factor - a must read by Cyril Widdershoven
  • 7 minutes "Biden Targets Another US Pipeline For Shutdown After 'Begging' Saudis For More Oil" - Zero Hedge Monday Nov 8th
  • 12 minutes "UN-Backed Banker Alliance Announces “Green” Plan to Transform the Global Financial System" by Whitney Webb
  • 2 hours GREEN NEW DEAL = BLIZZARD OF LIES
  • 2 days China's aggression is changing the nature of sovereignty.
  • 4 days Building A $2 Billion Subsea Solar Power Cable From Chile To China
  • 2 days Ukrainian Maidan after 8 years
  • 3 days OPEC+ Expects Large Oil Glut In Early 2022
  • 2 days Delta variant in European Union
  • 2 days Hunter Biden Helped China Gain Control of Cobalt Mines in Africa
  • 13 hours Communist China Declared War on the US Long Ago Part 1 of the 2-part series: The CCP's War on America
  • 3 days Forecasts for Natural Gas
  • 3 days Microbes can provide sustainable hydrocarbons for the petrochemical industry
  • 4 hours President Biden’s Nuclear Option Against OPEC+ - Waste of Time
  • 17 hours Сryptocurrency predictions
  • 3 days NordStream2
  • 3 days CO2 Electrolysis to CO (Carbon Monoxide) and then to Graphite
  • 4 days Big Bounce: Russian gas amid market tightness - new report by Oxford Institute for Energy Studies
Goldman Remains Bullish On Oil Despite OPEC+ Decision

Goldman Remains Bullish On Oil Despite OPEC+ Decision

Goldman Sachs commodity analysts remain…

OPEC+ Expects Large Oil Glut In Early 2022

OPEC+ Expects Large Oil Glut In Early 2022

OPEC+ expects the global oil…

Stuart Burns

Stuart Burns

Stuart is a writer for MetalMiner who operate the largest metals-related media site in the US according to third party ranking sites. With a preemptive…

More Info

Premium Content

China Set to Become the World’s Largest Oil Importer

In a recent Commodities Note, Reuters detailed how the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) is changing the way it records and reports China’s crude and refined oil products consumption as a result of a growing realization that the data used to date has been at best misleading, and often downright wrong.

Measuring China’s oil consumption was not a particularly important process 10 years ago, but now the country is ranked only behind the US as an importer of oil. Indeed, depending on the reliability of the data, it could soon become the largest importer, as a recent article explains.

US net oil imports dropped to 5.98 million barrels per day in December, the lowest since February 1992, according to provisional figures from the US Energy Information Administration, while in the same month, China’s net oil imports surged to 6.12 million barrels per day, according to Chinese customs figures.

Related article: Ethiopia: A Potentially Golden Block on East Africa’s Tertiary Rift

Net Oil Imports
Source: Financial Times

The US has been the world’s largest importer of oil since the 1970s with profound ramifications for global politics, wealth flows and more.  If, as expected, the US gradually takes more oil from domestic sources, with the growth coming from unconventional sources such as shale oil, the importance of the Middle East, for example, will become less than it has been in the past.

US domestic oil production has surged by some 800,000 barrels per day and US oil majors are now exporting record quantities of refined oil products to Latin America and Africa. Imports from the Middle East have remained relatively steady, with the hit on imports falling more on Nigeria and Angola.

China, on the other hand, has seen imports rise even as domestic refining capacity has risen faster. There is much uncertainty around real Chinese consumption, even among Chinese state agencies. This is not deliberate obscuration; official recording does not cover all of the refiners in China and they only provide percentage changes from an unspecified starting point, making the process not much better than guess work.

Related article: Energy Efficiency Vital to Cutting Oil Demand

If refinery runs are higher than believed in the West, it could be due to greater consumption or it could be greater storage – both crude and refined product storage capability has increased significantly in recent years. What is clear is that the oil markets are becoming increasingly important to China’s security and economic health, so it is safe to assume the country will gradually assert its influence where it sees its greatest exposure or opportunities.

As the US ramps down shipments from West Africa, China is likely to step in, seeking both economic and political influence to secure its position. Indeed the US-China shift is simply the largest example of a shift that is going on across the developed and developing world.

The IEA forecast that emerging countries would for the first time consume more oil than industrialized nations, saying non-OECD countries will consume 44.9 million barrels per day next quarter, compared with 44.7 million barrels per day for the OECD nations.

By. Stuart Burns


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment

Leave a comment




EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News