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Chinese researchers propose energy strategy revamp

BEIJING, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The director of a Chinese government research institute has suggested China revamp its energy strategy to secure its energy future.

Li Wei, head of the Development Research Center of the State Council, China's Cabinet -- in a paper published in the People's Daily newspaper -- called for a "secure, green and efficient" system of energy production and consumption in China, Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday.

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While growth of China's energy demand will experience a slowdown because of the cooling of its economy, China will continue to depend more on foreign suppliers of oil and natural gas, says Li's report, "Foreseeing and Analyzing China's Future Energy Development."

Li's report calls for China to set clear strategic goals to limit dependency on foreign oil and natural gas.

Li says as much as 75 percent of China's oil could be imported by 2030, and its dependency on foreign natural gas will also rise rapidly, raising energy security concerns.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects China's oil consumption will continue growing at a "moderate pace" through 2014 to approximately 11.1 million barrels per day and that its net oil imports will reach 6.6 million barrels per day compared to 5.5 million barrels per day for the United States.

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"China has the largest oil and gas production in the Asia-Pacific region and the largest coal production in the world, but the country's escalating energy demand is increasing its reliance on imports and need to secure more energy supplies," the EIA said in a statement last week, China Daily reports.

Li warns in his report that China's energy supply risks might be worsened by complicated and volatile geopolitical circumstances.

"Rising risk for the energy transportation routes will pose new challenges which will be directly affected by geopolitical risks in the neighboring regions, the Middle East and Africa," he wrote.

Although the United States has become more energy independent, it is still likely to continue its grip on oil resources in the Middle East, says Xinhua's report on Li's article.

Xinhua's report notes that the United States' reduced dependence on foreign oil will encourage the United States to advance its agenda in the Middle East region, thus making the world's energy market even more unpredictable.

The EIA says the Middle East remains China's largest source of crude oil imports, supplying 2.9 million barrels per day, or 52 percent in 2013.

The Xinhua report says Li's article is based on two years of research led by the Development Research Center and supported by more than 70 experts, including individuals from Royal Dutch Shell, Harvard University and Tsinghua University.

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