Business / Industries

Pipeline boosts energy security

By ZHAO YANRONG And DU JUAN (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-29 04:50

"Economic incentives for oil consumption will continue to decline. As a result, China's oil demand growth will be slower, at around 2 to 3 percent in the future," said Sun Xiansheng, head of the institute.

The think tank estimated the average price of global crude benchmark Brent to be around $60 to $70 a barrel and the West Texas Intermediate crude price at about $55 to $65 a barrel this year.

Affected by a supply glut and weakening demand, global crude prices had dropped from around $115 a barrel in mid-June to $53 a barrel by the end of 2014. Prices continued to decline to below $50 a barrel this month.

"From a trading perspective, China will have a much bigger say in the international crude market since the country, as a strategic buyer, will keep leading the demand growth in the world," Sun said.

He said crude output may gradually decline as international oil companies cut investment this year to cope with price drops.

"Low-cost crude producers such as in the Middle East region will gain a much bigger market share," he said. "China will be a buyer that all the producers want to chase."

Wang Zhen, deputy director of CNPC policy research office, said Chinese oil companies should use the falling crude prices to adjust their business structure so that China can accelerate the reform of the energy industry.

Yang Lei, deputy director of the oil and natural gas division at the National Energy Administration, said falling crude prices have triggered losses for many overseas oil blocks owned by Chinese firms.

Slowdown hits natural gas use

The growth of natural gas consumption fell to a 10-year low of 8.9 percent last year from 17.4 percent in 2013, a result of the nation's economic slowdown, an industry think tank said on Wednesday.

Consumption was far below expectations at 183 billion cubic meters, said Sun Xiansheng, head of the CNPC Economic and Technology Research Institute. It estimated that natural gas demand will be about 200 billion cu m this year with imports of 65 billion cu m.

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