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China named world’s biggest net importer of oil, overtaking USA

Oilfield Technology,

According to US government data released this week, China has overtaken the US as the world's biggest net importer of oil.

The country's fast-growing economy, as well as the rise in car sales, were both cited as reasons for China’s growth in demand.

In its September statistics, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted that oil consumption in China had outstripped production by 6.3 million bpd, compared to the 6.1 million bpd in the US.

China’s oil supply outstripped by economic boom, USA deemed able to support itself thanks to hydraulic fracturing

Thanks to its economic boom, and oilfield damage because of flooding, China’s demand has far outstripped its supply, necessitating imports to make up the shortfall, said the EIA.

The agency predicts the trend will continue into 2014.

Today, despite having a population a third the size of China, the US uses 18.6 million bpd. China uses 10.9 million bpd.

However, as more domestic shale plays begin producing, the US looks likely to reduce reliance on imported energy.

USA to produce 20 - 22 million bpd of oil by 2022

Jason Gammel, Head of European Oil and Gas Research at Macquarie, said he expected the trend to last for the next five years, and that the US will produce 20 - 22 million bpd of oil by 2022.

Gammel said, "the US has moved very quickly to utilise fracking and horizontal drilling activities." He also noted that China will find it difficult to mimic America’s success in this field, as the US was well prepared to take advantage of the new techniques from the outset with the support of large, often US-based, service companies.

Edited from various sources by Cecilia Rehn

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