China's Oil Consumption To Rise 5.4%-7% In 2006

China's oil consumption is expected to rise by 5.4%-7% this year compared to last year, state media said Feb. 12, citing a report by the National Development and Reform Commission. The world's second biggest oil consumer after the U.S. consumed 318 million tons of oil last year. It did not explain the reason for the increase, but China's booming economy is becoming increasingly dependent on oil.

Seventy-five percent of China's oil this year will be consumed by the transportation sector, Xinhua cited the commission as saying. It noted the increasing purchases of automobiles as one factor behind the rise.

China is expected to import 44% of its oil demand this year. The country became an oil net importer in 1993 and has since been racing to secure resources abroad to power its booming economy as domestic production has fallen into an overall decline.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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