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Outlook for China’s Fossil Fuel Consumption: OIES


The outlook for China’s fossil fuel consumption under the energy transition and its geopolitical implications according to The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

  • China is currently the world’s largest oil importer and is on track to becoming the biggest consumer LNG. In 2022 China imported for 75% of its oil consumption, and 41% of gas. China is committed to peaking carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 with different pathways to reaching net zero. The energy mix will depend on economic growth as well as a variety of policy choices.
  • Most scenarios suggest that China will remain the world’s largest oil importing country for the next two decades and a significant gas importer despite rapid electrification trends.
  • China will become increasingly dependent on a small number of exporters with imports coming predominantly from the USA, Russia, and the Middle East (and most notably Saudi Arabia for oil, and Qatar for LNG).
  • Producers will compete for market share in China, with a deeper interdependence which could be seen as a vulnerability, but it also gives the country geopolitical leverage.
  • China’s energy security policies are increasingly being shaped by the prospect of sanctions as they look to deepen ties and build coalitions aimed at weakening the USA’s ability to contain and supress China.

Source: Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

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