China Looks to Increase Oil Imports From Africa to 40%

"We wish to increase the imports, the oil and gas from Africa from 35 to 40 percent in the next five to 10 years," China Petroleum and Petrochemical Industry Association Executive President Zhiming Zhao said to reporters at a Cape Town exhibition and energy conference.

One report lists China's oil imports from Africa at more than 30 million tonnes since 2005, constituting about 30% of the country's total oil imports. Statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that China's oil demand will reach 14.2 million bbl/d by 2025.

According to the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), "Nigeria and Angola already supply China with as much oil as Saudi Arabia … Furthermore, China has either established or been pursuing oil deals with 100 percent of those countries [in Africa] that have at least 0.5 billion barrels of proven reserves."

"We have a very good relationship with Africa and in the future we wish to find more places to put our investments," said Zhao. Improved relations between China and oil-producing African nations began with China President Hu Jintao's 2004 three-nation tour to Gabon, Egypt, and Algeria.

The IAGS reports that China has provided "economic grants, interest-free loans, and preferential loans" to 53 African nations in an effort to establish the foundation for future collaborations that would allow for the much-needed oil imports for China's expanding economy. IAGS stated that by 2020 China will have 120 million private vehicles traveling its roads, and the country will be importing 60% of its oil. The EIA puts the import estimate at 75%.

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