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Consumption of oil, gas to rise on back of recovery

By ZHENG XIN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-03-29 07:30

Technicians check gas transfer facilities in Suining, Sichuan province. LIU CHANGSONG/FOR CHINA DAILY

Ensuring energy security remains key task for country this year, experts say

China's oil and gas consumption is expected to continue rising in 2023, driven by the overall recovery of the economy in the country, according to a recent report.

Domestic oil consumption in China is expected to rise 5.1 percent year-on-year to 756 million metric tons in 2023, with refined oil product consumption increasing 9.1 percent to 398 million tons, as the domestic economic recovery will promote the rapid growth of energy consumption, according to a report released by the Economics and Technology Research Institute in Beijing on Monday.

It is expected that demand for natural gas in the country will also recover rapidly from last year, with annual consumption expected to reach 386.5 billion cubic meters and the growth rate to rebound to 5.2 percent, said the institute, which is affiliated with China National Petroleum Corp.

Zhou Xiwei, an economist with the institute's energy strategy research department, said that China's oil and gas industry managed to ensure energy supply and stabilize prices last year despite the severe and complex changes in the international energy situation, which has provided strong support for domestic economic growth.

Zhou said that ensuring energy security will remain the primary task this year and she expects crude oil and natural gas production in 2023 will maintain growth.

According to the institute, China's new energy industry developed rapidly last year with the proportion of non-fossil energy consumption reaching about 17.4 percent, an increase of 0.8 percentage points compared to the previous year. The installed capacity of renewable energy power generation exceeded 1.2 billion kilowatts.

Crude oil production has been increasing for four consecutive years, with the total annual production reaching 205 million tons in 2022, surpassing 200 million tons for the first time in six years. Domestic natural gas production and pipeline gas imports have also grown rapidly, it said.

Newly discovered geological reserves of oil were approximately 1.46 billion tons and newly discovered geological reserves of natural gas were over 1.2 trillion cubic meters, maintaining a high growth rate.

While domestic refining capacity growth slowed down last year, with a total refining capacity of 924 million tons per year, China still maintains its position as the world's largest refining country. Ethylene production capacity has grown rapidly for the fourth consecutive year, with a total production capacity of 49.53 million tons per year, surpassing the United States and rising to the first place globally, it said.

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