China's oil consumption rate climbed from 4,477 million b/d in 1999 to 8,625 million b/d in 2009, reflecting the energy needs of a populous country with a growing economy, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2010.
While China's oil production rate increased during the same time period, it fell short of meeting the domestic consumption rate. Oil production climbed from 3,213 million b/d in 1999 to 3,901 million b/d in 2008, but declined to 3,790 million b/d in 2009. Production in 2009 represented 4.9 percent of the world's oil production.
Meanwhile, China's proved oil reserves declined from 16.0 billion barrels at the end of 1989 to 15.1 billion barrels at year-end 1999 to 14.8 billion barrels at the end of 2009, or 1.1 percent of the world's proved oil reserves.
Since 1999, China's consumption of natural gas has grown from 759.2 billion cubic feet (21.5 billion cubic meters) in 1999 to 3.1 trillion cubic feet (88.7 billion cubic meters) in 2009. During that time, China's gas production has steadily increased from 899.9 billion cubic feet (25.2 billion cubic meters) in 1999 to 3 trillion cubic feet (85.2 billion cubic meters).
China's proved natural gas reserves grew from 36.02 trillion cubic feet (1.02 trillion cubic meters) at year-end 1989 to 48.3 trillion cubic feet (1.37 trillion cubic meters) at year-end 1999 to 86.7 trillion cubic feet (2.46 trillion cubic meters), at the end of 2009.
Gas will play an increasingly important role in China's energy future as the Chinese government is promoting the use of more gas to meet the country's large energy appetite.
Historically, coal has played a key role in feeding China's energy needs. The country, which ranks third behind the U.S. and Russia in terms of proved coal reserves, had 13.9 percent of the world's proved coal reserves at year-end 2009, or 1,145 billion tonnes of coal. China's proved coal reserves include 62,200 million tonnes of anthracite and bituminous coal and 52,300 million tonnes of sub-bituminous and lignite coal.
The amount of coal mined in China grew from 645.9 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 1999 to 1552.9 billion tonnes of oil equivalent at year-end 2009. China's consumption of coal also grew from 656.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 1999 to 1537.4 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2009, mirroring China's growing industrial activity and economy. While the Chinese government has encouraged the development of a diverse range of energy resources in China, coal will remain critical in meeting the country's energy needs.
In the last decade, China's consumption of nuclear energy has increased from 3.4 million tonnes oil equivalent to 15.9 million tonnes oil equivalent in 2009. The amount of hydroelectric power consumed in China also grew from 46.1 million tonnes oil equivalent in 1999 to 139.3 million tonnes oil equivalent in 2009.
Consumption of all five fuels increased in China from 2008 to 2009, as did the overall consumption rate from 2007.4 million tonnes oil equivalent in 2008 to 2177.0 million tonnes oil equivalent in 2009.
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