(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) China is increasingly reliant on oil-gas imports and the country faces severe challenges in meeting its energy demands, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday, citing data of the state-run China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
In 2012, world's second-biggest energy user's net oil imports amounted to 284 million tons, which means the country is 58 percent reliant on foreign supplies in this area, up 1.5 percentage points from a year earlier, CNPC Economics and Technology Research Institute said in a report. Natural gas imports amounted to 42.8 billion cubic meters in 2012. The report said the country's dependence rates on imports of crude oil and natural gas came in at 56.6 percent and 29 percent, respectively, both representing an increase from the rate a year earlier.
The institute said China's growing reliance in the sector, under the context of volatile international oil prices and soaring natural gas costs, has created huge pressures on economic growth, making the country more vulnerable in energy security. The report forecast the country's oil-gas demands will continue to trend upward this year, with dependence rates on oil and gas imports reaching 59.4 percent and 32 percent, respectively. In consideration of China's economic development and consumers' buying power, the country has sometimes intentionally kept prices of oil and gas lower than those on the international markets.
But earlier this month, China's National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, said the government will promote reforms in its energy and resource pricing system this year.