Journal Article - Energy Policy

Oil Development in China: Current Status and Future Trends

  • Linwei Ma
  • Zheng Li
  • Pei Liu
| June 2012


The future of oil has become an important topic of the discussion of energy policy in China. This paper attempts to present a full picture of the current status and future trends of China's oil development through system analysis. First, we map a Sankey diagram of China's oil flow to reveal the physical pattern of China's oil supply and consumption. Then, we present the historical and ongoing trends of China's oil flow from key aspects such as oil demand, oil resource availability, technology improvement, and policy adjustment. Based on these understandings, we design three scenarios of China's oil demand in 2030, and analyze policy implications for oil saving, automotive energy development, and energy security. From the analysis, we draw some conclusions for policy decisions, such as to control the total oil consumption to avoid energy security risks, to enhance oil saving in all sectors with road transportation as the emphasis, and to increase the investment on oil production and refining to secure oil supply and reduce emissions.

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For Academic Citation: Linwei, Ma, Feng Fu, Zheng Li, and Pei Liu. Oil Development in China: Current Status and Future Trends.” Energy Policy, vol. 45. (June 2012):

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