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China's Oil Demand to Peak by 2030, Forecasts CNPC's ETRI

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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China's Oil Demand to Peak by 2030, Forecasts CNPC's ETRI

In a pivotal forecast by the CNPC Economics and Technology Research Institute (ETRI), an arm of the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), China's oil demand is predicted to reach a crescendo by 2030. The peak demand is projected to oscillate between 780 and 800 million metric tons annually, marking an upsurge from the 2021 estimate that put the peak at 780 million tons. This peak demand signifies approximately 15.6 to 16 million barrels of oil per day.

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Oil Demand: A Petrochemical Predominance

According to ETRI, by 2030, the petrochemical sector will command 30% of the oil demand. This projection underscores the indispensable role of this sector in shaping the future of oil consumption. Petrochemicals, the chemicals obtained from petroleum and natural gas serving as raw materials in many manufacturing industries, are a key component in a wide array of products that we use in our daily lives. From plastics to pharmaceuticals, they form an integral part of our modern consumer society.

Decline by 2060: The Waning Necessity for Transport Fuels

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ETRI’s forecast also carries a prediction of a significant drop in oil demand by 2060. The demand is expected to plummet to 220 million tons per year, just about a quarter of the predicted peak. This decline can be largely attributed to the reduced necessity for transport fuels. As the world increasingly pivots towards cleaner energy alternatives, the use of oil in the transportation sector is expected to see a diminishing trend.

Natural Gas Demand: The Apex in 2040

ETRI's forecast also includes an anticipation that China's demand for natural gas will reach its zenith in 2040, hitting 605.9 billion cubic meters. Natural gas, being a cleaner and more efficient source of energy, is steadily gaining prominence in China’s energy mix. This shift is part of China’s broader strategy to combat air pollution and reduce carbon emissions, as the country is making significant strides in its transition towards a greener and more sustainable energy future.

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