Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, reacting to the EIA report, told China’s Global Times “the most important thing is to find solutions because as the largest oil importer China will be very vulnerable to oil price changes.”
While the United States has played an important role in stabilizing global oil prices and in maintaining security in major oil-producing countries, it will have less motivation to do so as it relies less on imported oil, the Times reports experts say.
In 2012, about 40 percent of the petroleum consumed by the United States was imported from foreign countries, the lowest level since 1991. For comparison, the EU relied on foreign imports to meet over 54 percent of its energy needs.
China’s oil use aside, Europe’s long-standing import dependency is an economic land mine that poses a threat to Europe’s competitiveness and endangers its economy.
According to an European Commission white paper, the EU paid €500 billion for oil and gas imports last year—3.2 percent of its GDP or €1.1 billion a day. That’s a €200 billion increase from just three years prior.