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China Won’t Reach Peak Energy Demand Till 2040

China will not reach peak energy demand until the year 2040, according to a new report from the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) on Wednesday.

Previous estimates said the peak would be reached in 2035, but new figures suggest that five years later, demand would be its highest at 4.06 billion tons of oil equivalent. Rising fuel needs stem from an increasing number of cars on Chinese roads, as a growing middle class adopts new luxuries in their daily lives.

The report added that China’s old demand will grow at a rate of 2.7 percent annually until 2020, after which it will slow to 1.2 percent until the end of the next decade.

Currently, China is second only to the United States in its overall energy consumption, but the nation’s high coal use causes it to emit almost twice as much carbon dioxide than the first-place consumer.

Last month, the International Energy Agency (IEA)  said that China will account for 40 percent of the global annual growth in natural gas demand over the next five years.

Imports of the bridge fuel in Asia’s second-largest economy are running at record rates as Beijing pushes on with its cleaner energy agenda that should see the country satisfy 10 percent of its energy needs with gas in 2020, from 5.9 percent in 2015.

Related: Oil Futures Point To Higher Oil Prices

This shift to gas could create new opportunities for independent energy companies at the expense of state-owned giants.

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Energy independents are building a string of LNG import facilities, Bloomberg reported earlier this week, stimulated by the government’s efforts to promote gas and encourage competition, and by the attractive prices on the spot market. There are already three LNG import terminals, developed by Jovo Energy, Guanghui Energy, and ENN Group—one of China’s biggest energy independents. Three more terminals are either being planned or are already under construction. 

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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