China Energy Programme Publications

The results of OIES research is published as working papers, energy comments, presentations and articles as well as commercially published books and monographs. The views expressed in all OIES publications are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies or any of its Members.

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  • Sanctions, Shipping, and Oil Markets

    By: Adi Imsirovic , Michal Meidan

    In just over a week, the theoretical cost of taking a barrel of oil from the Gulf to Asia, in the cheapest possible way, rose by $6 per barrel. At a time when refinery margins are in single digits, this is a major blow to refinery profitability. The US administration’s decision to sanction two subsidiaries […]

  • China’s energy security at 70

    By: Michal Meidan

    As China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on 1 October 2019, it seems to have gone full circle back to its 1949 assessments of the US: “a greedy and violent nation, struggling to remain the wealthiest and strongest on earth”. For the first two decades of […]

  • Glimpses of China’s energy future

    By: Michal Meidan

    China’s largest oil and gas major, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), released its 2050 outlook in late August. This coincides with preliminary work currently being undertaken by domestic think tanks, state-owned enterprises, and ministries ahead of the 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP, which will run from 2021 to 2025). While the CNPC report is by no […]

  • Why China will keep importing Iranian crude, but volumes will remain limited

    By: Michal Meidan

    On 22 July, 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the US’s decision to impose sanctions on a Chinese trader, Zhuhai Zhenrong, and its chief executive for ‘knowingly purchasing or acquiring oil from Iran, contrary to US sanctions’. While the US State Department’s decision to designate a Chinese entity may be seen as a sign […]

  • US-China Trade Tensions: Here we go again

    By: Michal Meidan

    The brief reprieve in the US-China tariff tit-for-tat seems to be coming to an end following Donald Trump’s tweet on 1 August, threatening to impose 10 per cent tariffs on $300 billion-worth of Chinese imports effective 1 September 2019. The announcement led to a steep fall in oil prices, as markets fear that the escalating […]

  • US-China: The Great Decoupling

    By: Michal Meidan

    Markets have been watching with bated breath the ups and downs in bilateral negotiations between the US and China as the two sides seek to resolve a tariff tit-for-tat that has escalated into a trade war. But what many observers may have failed to notice is that the negotiating process has also laid bare a […]

  • China: Growing import volumes of LNG highlight China’s energy import dependency

    By: Stephen O'Sullivan

    China’s gas demand looks set to remain relatively strong over the next several years, driven largely by government environmental policies.  Over the last decade, China’s gas demand has risen more than three-fold as its economy has grown and as the government has focused on increased gas use as a route to a cleaner environment in […]

  • China’s Long March to Gas Price Freedom: Price Reform in the People’s Republic

    By: Stephen O'Sullivan

    China is the world’s third-largest gas market – as well as its fastest-growing.  Government policy, economic growth and reform of its gas pricing system are driving growth in demand at double-digit rates.  The outlook for China’s gas market and its interaction with the wider world of global gas is both a major question for international […]

  • China’s Independent Refiners: A New Force Shaping Global Oil Markets

    By: Michal Meidan

    China’s independent refiners account for roughly one third of the country’s downstream, yet for years, these private companies, nicknamed ‘teapots’ for their simple refining configuration, were virtually unknown to global crude markets. The independent refiners processed fuel oil as feedstock and, running at low utilisation rates, their retail market share in China was limited mainly […]

  • China’s loans for oil: asset or liability?

    By: Michal Meidan

    China’s leaders have long been concerned with the strategic vulnerabilities associated with rising oil imports. In their efforts to hedge against these, Chinese policy banks have handed out loans that are repaid with oil. By 2015, repayment for these loans generated 1.4-1.6 mb/d of crude and fuel oil deliveries from Venezuela, Russia, Brazil, and Ecuador […]

  • China’s 13th Five-Year Plan: Implications for Oil Markets

    By: Michal Meidan

    China’s 13th Five Year Plan (13FYP) outlines the country’s economic transformation for the coming five years and beyond. As the main blueprint for China’s ‘rebalancing’, it will impact economic growth and energy demand patterns. China’s economic growth is slowing, and the economy is now clearly shifting from an export oriented growth path to a more […]

  • The structure of China’s oil industry: Past trends and future prospects

    By: Michal Meidan

    China’s oil sector has been dominated by three large state-owned oil companies in charge of developing the country’s domestic reserves, building and operating pipelines, managing China’s increasingly sophisticated downstream, and filling its strategic petroleum reserves (SPR). Over the years, as China’s demand has outstripped production, they have also become major investors in the global upstream […]