Transitions in China's Oil Economy, 1990-2010

Guy C. K. Leung, Raymond Li, Melissa Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


A team of specialists on China's energy sector reviews a series of major transitions that have transformed that country's oil economy over the past two decades. These include, on the demand side, (a) the increasing role of oil in the economy as a whole vis-à-vis other major energy carriers (as incomes have risen and millions of households have purchased vehicles and have also traveled by air), and (b) an increasing emphasis on energy efficiency and carbon mitigation. On the supply side, several additional transitions are discussed, namely (1) the scaling up of output from the central and western regions as well as from offshore, as the major northeastern oil fields decline after several decades of very heavy production, (2) a shift from being a major oil exporter to the world's second-largest oil importer, (3) expansion and diversification in the number of sources from which China imports oil, (4) changes in the way imported oil enters the country (increasingly via pipelines from neighboring countries), and (5) with such heavy dependence on imports, the building of strategic petroleum reserves and an immensely enlarged refining capacity, intended to enhance the nation's oil security.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-500
Number of pages18
JournalEurasian Geography and Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Transitions in China's Oil Economy, 1990-2010'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this