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. China's crude oil imports hit new record in 2007: customs

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jan 11, 2008
China's crude oil imports hit a new record of 163.17 million tonnes in 2007, up 12.4 percent over the previous year, the government said Friday.

Meanwhile, crude exports dropped by 38.7 percent to 3.89 million tonnes, the General Administration of Customs said, as the country strove to meet fast-rising energy demand accompanying double-digit economic growth.

China spent 79.77 billion dollars on importing oil in 2007, 20.1 percent more than a year earlier, as international oil prices surged throughout the year.

China also imported 33.8 million tonnes of oil products, down by 7.1 percent on the year, the administration said.

China has been a net importer of oil since 1993 and imported 138.8 million tonnes of crude in 2006, up 16.9 percent from the previous year.

Imports in 2006 accounted for 47 percent of the country's overall consumption, and industry observers have warned imports might make up more than 50 percent of the country's petroleum needs in a year or two.

Chinese demand has been identified as at least partly responsible for currently high oil prices, which topped 100 dollars per barrel last week and is now hovering at around 94 dollars per barrel.

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Analysis: Celtic Tiger roars in Ashgabat
Washington (UPI) Jan 11, 2008
For Western companies interested in exploiting the Caspian's last frontier, 2007 opened with great promise. Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov died Dec. 21, 2006, and the country's new president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, seemed to presage new possibilities for ending the country's isolationist, neutralist policies. Foreign leaders and oil company executives from around the world flooded into Ashgabat in an attempt to secure a slice of the country's vast hydrocarbon riches, particularly its natural gas reserves, estimated to be the fourth-largest in the world.

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