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Michael Kern

Michael Kern

Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com, 

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China's Oil Demand to Peak Before 2027, Says Sinopec

  • China's oil demand is expected to peak before 2027, earlier than previously forecast.
  • China's coal consumption will stop growing around 2025, while natural gas usage is projected to peak by 2040.
  • Non-fossil energy is set to dominate China's total energy supply by around 2045, with hydrogen energy playing a significant role.
Offshore Oil

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, or Sinopec, expects oil demand in China to peak before 2027, according to the 2024 edition of the China Energy Outlook 2060 that the world’s biggest refiner published on Wednesday. 

In its previous outlook last year, Sinopec said that China’s oil consumption is expected to peak at some point later this decade, between 2026 and 2030, due to an acceleration of EV adoption. 

In the latest outlook out today, Sinopec says that China’s coal consumption, which anchors the country’s energy security, will stop growing around 2025.

Chinese natural gas usage is rising and is projected to peak by 2040, according to Sinopec. 

Non-fossil energy is set to dominate China’s total energy supply by around 2045, the refining and petrochemical giant said in the latest outlook. 

Concurrently with the energy outlook, Sinopec released a China Hydrogen Energy Industry Outlook, which forecasts that by 2060, China’s hydrogen energy consumption will be nearing 86 million tons, creating an industry worth $635 billion (4.6 trillion Chinese yuan). Non-fossil fuel as an energy source used for making hydrogen will jump to 93% by then, with solar and wind energy to contributing to two-thirds of hydrogen production, Sinopec said. 

In a separate report, consultancy DNV said in its Energy Transition Outlook China last month that China’s oil consumption would peak in 2027, but would only halve by 2050 from its 2027 peak due to continued oil use in petrochemicals, aviation, and shipping. Natural gas demand in China is set to peak in the 2030s before returning to today’s levels by mid-century, DNV said. 

In 2050, China will meet 84% of its oil use through imports. Natural gas consumption will remain high, with 2050 consumption marginally below 2023 levels and 58% being imported. 

Overall, China’s power mix will shift from 30% renewables today to 88% by 2050, as the world’s second-largest economy will further extend its position as “the world’s green energy leader with unrivalled build-out and export of renewable technology,” according to DNV.  

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com


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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on May 29 2024 said:
    Such a claim is highly questionable and unsafe for the following reasons:

    1- Coal use will continue to grow in China well into the future albeit at a decelerating rate first because it provides the cheapest electricity in the world and second because it is the lynchpin of its energy security.

    2-Narural gas will continue to be used indefinitely because of the intermittent nature of solar and wind energy.

    3- Renewables can never replace oil in any shape or form.

    4- The growth of China's economy and population support a growing use of fossil fuels well into the future.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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