WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) — China consumed 13 percent more oil in November than it did in the same month in 2009 and refineries are running at full steam, an analysis shows.
Oil demand from China in November hit a record 9.3 million barrels per day, analysis by the Platts news service indicated. That is 13.1 percent higher than November 2009.
Calvin Lee, an energy writer for the Platts news service, said Chinese domestic refineries were churning at full speed to keep up with demand.
“Sinopec and PetroChina kept refinery run rates high in November after being told by Beijing to ensure sufficient supplies of diesel,” he said in a statement.
The International Energy Agency said in a July report that the surging Beijing economy has redefined the global energy sector as China passed the United States as the world’s largest energy consumer.
The IEA said China outpaced U.S. energy consumption by 4 percent in 2009. The United States, the report said, had been the largest energy consumer in the world since the dawn of the 20th century.
The surge in the Chinese energy demand, however, could be stifled by the fact that despite peaks in U.S. energy consumption, the U.S. economy remains the largest in the world.