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OPEC bulletin 2–3/14
N e w s l i n e
China’s domestic crude oil consumption growth, which
reportedly slumped to 22-year lows last year, is seem-
ingly revitalizing if import figures for the first two months
of 2014 are anything to go by.
According to data released by the country’s General
Administration of Customs, China’s combined crude oil
imports for January and February surged by 11.5 per cent
over 2013 levels to reach 6.36 million barrels/day.
The customs office gave combined data for the two
months, due to the Chinese New Year holidays, which
were celebrated at the end of January.
Oil import activity is customarily high ahead of the
annual celebration and 2014 proved to be no exception
with data showing that 6.66m b/d of crude was acquired
by the country in January alone — a record high.
The January oil import figure was 5.1 per cent more
than the previous record of 6.31m b/d, set in December
2013.
Reports noted that the start-up of two new refineries
in the country — the 200,000 b/d PetroChina Sichuan
plant and the 240,000 b/d Sinochem Quanzhou facil-
ity — also boosted import requirements. Other supplies
were also reported to have gone into storage.
Implied oil demand
The
Reuters
news agency calculated that implied oil
demand in China rose by just 1.6 per cent in 2013, or
150,000 b/d, the lowest expansion in over two decades.
This was logged against a background of lower economic
growth, which affected the consumption of transporta-
tion and industrial fuels.
China’s crude oil imports last year increased by just
four per cent, lower than the 6.8 per cent rise seen in
2012.
China is now the world’s largest importer of crude
oil. It took over that mantle from the United States in
September last year and is set to continue in that posi-
tion for some years, while North American shale oil out-
put continues to surge.
With oil imports set to remain high, the country is
keen to boost domestic production of crude.
TheChinaNational OffshoreOil Corporation (CNOOC)
is looking to boost domestic oil production by around
4.3 per cent in 2014. This forms part of a development
programme that aims to see annual growth of 6–10 per
cent recorded over the five year period 2011–15.
To support this goal, the company is looking to the
development of around 30 projects, with capital spend-
ing increasing to almost $20 billion in 2014.
“The company expects such capital expenditure will
strongly support its production and reserve growth in the
future,” CNOOC was quoted as saying in a comment on
its 2014 strategy.
The company’s 4.3 per cent growth in 2014 would
translate into around 967,000 million b/d of oil
equivalent.
CNOOC has announced that it intends to drill some
155explorationwells thisyear, higher than the estimated
132 wells worked on in 2013.
China’s crude oil imports
set new record this year
Shutterstock
The busy streets of Beijing —
a growing source of domestic
oil demand.
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