China: Worried about high dependence on imported oil

The news agency Xinhua published figures from Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, according to them oil consumption continues to rise and China’s dependence on imported oil rose to 55.2 percent in the first semester of this year, up from 55 percent in 2010 and 33 percent in 2009.

Chinese analysts argue that this dependence presents risks for growth and the economy in general.

They argue that increased consumption is a consequence of growing energy-intensive industries and government projects of urbanization and industrialization, leading to the sustained increase in import volumes, leaving the country too exposed for potential oil price fluctuations.

As a way to mitigate that dependency, experts suggest the country should start exploiting its gas reserves and the search for alternative energy sources, although they recognize that this takes time.

Others have suggested set a ceiling for oil consumption, but this implies slow growth and/or delay the industrialization process, and it seems unlikely that authorities take a decision in this regard.