A new report indicates rising Chinese demand and America’s shale boom have placed the U.S. on pace to give up its unwelcome title of the world’s number one oil importer by 2017.
“China and the US are heading in opposite directions for crude oilimport trends,” says William Durbin, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie’s Beijing-based President of Global Markets. “Although the US was the largest import market before,China will surpass US demand for oil imports and peak spend.”
“Notablyalso is a change in traditional suppliers–China will look towards OPECsupply more as US relies on it less,” Durbin explains.
According to the Wood Mackenzie report, by 2020 China will pay nearly $500 billion for oil imports, a figure almost double what it currently pays.
It is all part of a trend where U.S. energy independence and Chinese energy dependence are both on an upward trajectory.
U.S. oil import volumes have dropped to four million barrels per day, even as China’s have jumped from a million barrels per day in 2004 to over threemillion in 2012.