China's oil use, 1990-2008
Over the past two decades, China's oil demand has risen steeply. In 1990, it was only about 25% higher than that of 1978, the year economic reform was introduced. By 2008, it had reached 396.0 million tons, roughly four times the 1978 level, making China the second largest oil user worldwide. The country became a net oil importer in 1993, and between 1993 and 2008, its net import dependency--a yardstick for energy security--soared from 7.5% to 50.0%. China's increased demand for oil has made the country a global energy player of critical importance. Although the literature on the global implications of China's oil use has proliferated, relatively few studies have attempted to examine "how China uses oil." Hence, this study covers every oil-consuming facility and sector in China, exploring the patterns of, and factors involved in, oil demand by power plants, oil refineries, heat plants and, gas-works, and industrial, transport, agricultural, household and commercial sectors. It concludes that in virtually all sectors in China, oil demand will grow, with transport and industry leading the way.
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