IEA Welcomes Chinese Plan for Emergency Oil Stocks, Looks Forward to Strengthening Security Dialogue
(Paris) — 24 April 2001
The International Energy Agency welcomed today the decision by the Chinese government to build emergency oil stocks. The stocks decision is an important feature of the country’s Tenth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development approved recently by the National People’s Congress. The IEA said it would strengthen global energy supply security.
The Chinese decision was explained in detail by a senior representative of the State Development Planning Commission (SDPC) who led the Chinese delegation to a joint IEA-China Workshop on Emergency Oil Stock Issues in Paris, yesterday and today. The new Five-Year Plan calls, for the first time ever, for building strategic oil stocks to maintain China’s energy security. "We need to learn from the experiences of other countries on this subject, and we regard the IEA as the most significant player in the area", said H.E. Mr. Wu Jianmin, China’s Ambassador to France.
The joint workshop was a step towards greater co-operation on energy security. It was organised under the Memorandum of Policy Understanding in the Field of Energy, which the Agency signed with China in 1996. Subjects included the experience of IEA Member countries with the building, maintenance and use of stocks, with legislation and financing and with procedures for international co-operation in an oil emergency. Future co-operation between the Agency and China in this area was also discussed.
With total oil demand at 4.8 million barrels per day, China is the world’s third largest oil consumer after the United States and Japan. It has been a net oil importer since 1993. Since Korea recently joined the IEA, China is the largest oil importer outside the Agency. "The IEA recognises the importance of China as a major player in global oil markets and we are prepared to strengthen our oil security dialogue with the Chinese beyond this first stage of experience sharing", said Mr. Robert Priddle, the Agency’s Executive Director.
The Chinese delegation included representatives of the SDPC, the Ministry of Finance and the State Statistical Bureau, as well as representatives from major Chinese oil companies. After the two-day workshop, the Chinese team will visit oil stock facilities in several European countries.