China Overtakes Germany as Top Russian Oil Consumer

© Flickr / Pete MarkhamSunset over the oil rig
Sunset over the oil rig - Sputnik International
China has overtaken Germany as Russia's biggest oil customer, the International Energy Agency (IEA) revealed on Friday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — China, which is the world's second oil consumer after the United States, with demand rising to 10.68 million barrels per day in 2015, according to the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The country is the world's top oil importer, its imports reached an all-time high in 2015, standing at 334 million tonnes by the end of the year (6.7 million barrels per day), CNPC figures showed.

"Shipping data suggest that China is importing more and more ESPO crude [East Siberian Pacific Ocean blend] and at the end of 2015 overtook Germany to become Russia’s biggest customer. In January, China imported nearly 60% of all cargoes leaving Kozmino while teapot refiners in the north of the country have recently begun importing crude via train from Russia," the IEA said in its Oil Market Report for March released on Friday.

Gas pipes - Sputnik International
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In January, shipments along Russia's far eastern ESPO pipeline to China exceeded 1 million barrels per day, while shipments along the Daqing-Skovorodino pipeline reached 350,000 barrels per day, according to the report.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is due to arrive in Beijing on Friday for talks with China's top energy official on comprehensive industrial cooperation. Amid the Western sanctions against Russia, Moscow has been stepping up its cooperation with Beijing, including in the energy sector, as well as on technology, infrastructure, finance and defense.

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