Seminar on Oil Stocks and Emergency Response

(Beijing) — 12 December 2002

The International Energy Agency (IEA) and China's State Development Planning Commission (SDPC) co-hosted a wide-ranging seminar on Oil Stocks and Emergency Response in Beijing on 9-10 December. "We welcome China's recognition of the importance of emergency oil stocks and encourage their efforts to establish their own emergency stockpile. This positive and timely action will improve China's ability to confront supply shortfalls, and contribute to global energy security," said Ambassador William Ramsay, Deputy Executive Director of the IEA, who headed the IEA delegation which included experts from IEA member countries and from industry.

The IEA delegation and Chinese experts and officials from both government and industry exchanged views on a broad spectrum of oil security issues. Discussions ranged from government policy, to the structure of emergency response, and the importance of data and market transparency, to technical details on oil storage facilities.

Over 60 Chinese delegates from the State Development Planning Commission (SDPC), State Economic and Trade Commission (SETC), ministries, research institutes and oil companies attended the seminar with the IEA. Both parties welcomed the opportunity to discuss common challenges of global energy security. In this context, they exchanged views and experiences on crisis management issues with specific emphasis on the complexities of the establishment and management of emergency oil stocks.

The Beijing Oil Stocks and Emergency Response Seminar follows a joint IEA/China Workshop on Emergency Oil Stock Issues held in Paris in April 2001. The IEA's co-operation with China in promoting energy security has developed strongly since the IEA and China signed a Memorandum of Policy Understanding in 1996.

As a major player in the global energy market, China is a priority for the IEA's activities with non-Member countries. China is the largest oil importer outside the OECD and with a total oil demand of 4.9 mb/d in 2001, it is the world's third largest consumer of oil after the United States and Japan. Last year, the Chinese government took a decision to build emergency oil stocks within the country's tenth five-year plan for 2001-2005. The SDPC indicated that the stock building plan is being elaborated and is expected to be implemented in the near future.

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