China redrawing energy map, IEA says

Nov. 5, 2012 at 8:06 AM
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PARIS, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Commuters across the globe may be filling their tanks with gasoline processed in China as the country moves to expand its refining capacity, the IEA said.

The International Energy Agency expects China to increase its refining capacity by as much as 2.9 million barrels within the next five years. The agency said it expected Chinese demand for oil to drop 1 million barrels per day for 2016 when compared to predictions made two years ago.

Antoine Halff, director of the IEA's oil market unit, said in a statement that the global oil map "is being redrawn" and the Chinese economy is playing a large role in that development.

"The result could be more motorists in more parts of the world filling up with gasoline made in China," he said in a statement.

The IEA reported that statements made by PetroChina and others suggest the agency has underestimated the refinery growth potential in China. Any surplus from the country may find its way to the international market.

The country, in a deal with Russian oil company Rosneft and state-owned China National Petroleum Corp., has given operators at the planned Tianjin refinery permission to buy and sell oil products for export, the IEA said.

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