As the U.S. produces more of its own energy, China is set to steal a dubious distinction from its American geopolitical rival.
According to a report released this week by Wood Mackenzie, the world’s second-largest economy will be the globe’s largest importer of oil by volume by 2017. The shift is driven by more Chinese consumption, and a prodigious shale boom that is lessening U.S. reliance on imports.
What’s worse, China’s price tag for oil imports will double to nearly $500 billion by 2020, the report says.
The report underscores the voracious energy needs of Asia’s economic powerhouse, as a growing middle class migrates to car ownership. Although China ranks fourth globally in crude oil production, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, it’s not enough to slake the country’s implacable thirst for energy.
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