China overtakes US as 'world's largest oil importer'

China overtakes US as 'world's largest oil importer'
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Published March 5th, 2013 - 09:53 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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China has overtaken the US as the world's largest net importer of oil, according to a new report
China has overtaken the US as the world's largest net importer of oil, according to a new report
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Beijing
,
CNN
,
US Energy Information Administration

China has overtaken the US as the world's largest net importer of oil, a report has said.

US net oil imports dropped to 5.98m barrels a day in December, the lowest since February 1992, according to provisional figures from the US Energy Information Administration.

In the same month, China's net oil imports surged to 6.12m b/d, according to Chinese customs, CNN reports.

The US has been the world's largest net importer of oil since the mid-1970s.

According to the report, as China overtakes the US as the world's leading net oil importer, Beijing is likely to face pressure to take a larger role in patrolling the world's key shipping lanes.

China has already taken a more assertive foreign oil policy in countries such as Sudan, Angola and Iraq, where state-owned Chinese companies have invested billions of dollars, the report added. 

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