China Thirsty for Oil

Globe and Mail, June 30, 2009

China's dependence on foreign oil has surpassed that of the United States, as consumers race to the pumps to fill their new cars with gas and the country feverishly stockpiles supplies to take advantage of weak markets.

The country's increasing appetite has driven it to spend billions to acquire foreign oil producers and construct vast storage facilities to safeguard future needs. It also helps explain a rapid rise in oil prices this year, which many attribute to speculators gambling on an economic recovery.

"People trying to explain rising prices look at the West and see high inventory and low demand, so they blame speculators," said Paul Ting, president of Paul Ting Energy Vision LLC in New Jersey. "They are looking in the wrong place - demand is coming from China. And demand has been robust." (Emphasis is ours)

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