10 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — U.S’. International Energy Agency’s executive director, Dr. Fatih Birol, has met with China’s Vice Premier, Mr. Zhang Gaoli, to discuss its commitment to deepening its cooperation with the country during the country’s economic and energy transition.
China is transitioning from fossil fuel to bioethanol gasoline nationwide by 2020, gradually reducing the quantity of crude oil importation from OPEC countries, including Nigeria.
The country’s trade bond with the U.S. deepened following shale boom, including the fact that U.S. keeps discounting its oil as one of the strategies of wooing buyers away from OPEC.
In a release by IEA, Dr. Birol emphasized its ongoing modernisation agenda, including “open doors” policy to the emerging economies.
As part of this initiative, China joined the IEA as an Association Country in 2015, allowing for greater cooperation on a variety of energy-related issues.
Dr. Birol also expressed the IEA’s desire to continue working with China’s National Energy Administration, NEA, and other key stakeholders during China’s ongoing energy transition and energy-sector reforms.
The IEA opened a liaison office in Beijing earlier this year to expand ties in key areas such as energy security, energy data and statistics, energy policy analysis, renewables, energy efficiency and other clean-energy technologies.
Thanks to the IEA’s new “open-doors” policy, the IEA family, which includes member countries as well as seven association countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Singapore, and Thailand), now accounts for more than 70% of global energy demand, up from about 40% in 2015.
China imported 289, 000 barrels per day of shale oil in November, according to data obtained from ClipperData.
The country imported a total of 9.01 million barrels per day last month.
The country’s crude oil imports are up about 900, 000 barrels a day to an average of nearly 8.5 million barrels a day through November, according to figures from Energy Aspects.
Next year, the firm sees growth slowing but still expects China’s demand to increase to about 500, 000 barrels per day.
Nigeria’s crude oil flow into China is just one percent.
China’s October oil imports fell sharply from a near record-high of about 9 million barrels per day (bpd) in September to just 7.3 million bpd, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Wednesday. That is the lowest level since October 2016, though imports were up 7.8 percent from a year ago.
For next year, however, independent refiners are likely to boost their imports again as authorities on Wednesday raised the 2018 crude oil import quota by 55 percent over 2017 to 2.85 million bpd, Li Yan, an oil analyst with Zibo Longzhong Information Group told CNBC.
In August, India’s Hindustan Petroleum Corporation said it was considering dumping Nigeria’s sweet crude for that of the U.S.
This is coming less than three years after U.S. stopped importing Nigeria’s oil. After the US stopped the purchase of Nigerian oil under former President Barack Obama, Nigeria turned to Asia, particularly India and China for oil sale.
India is the biggest buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil, importing as much as 745,000 barrels in May 2015. In 2015-16, India imported nearly 23.7 MMT of crude (nearly 12% of India overall imports) and over 2 MMTPA of LNG from Nigeria, according to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.