US may cede leadership in oil refining to China

США впервые в истории потеряют мировое лидерство в переработке нефти, сообщает The Bell.

For the first time in history, the United States will lose its world leadership in oil refining, reports The Bell.

China may replace the United States as a leader in oil refining in 2021.

Four oil refineries are currently under construction in China, with a total capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day. This is equivalent to the current refining capacity throughout the UK. One of the new factories was opened by the private company Rongsheng Petrochemical in Zhejiang province in northeast China.

At the same time, older refineries in the United States are gradually closing. In early November, Royal Dutch Shell announced its Louisiana plant's closure, resulting in several hundred employees losing their jobs. In 1967, when the plant opened, the US processing capacity was 35 times that of China.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the global refining industry's shift amid growing demand for plastic and fuel in China and the rest of Asia, Bloomberg and its interviewed experts estimate. The economy there is recovering faster from the pandemic than Europe and the United States, facing a deeper economic crisis. Besides, Western economies are gradually phasing out traditional fuels, which will mean lower demand for oil in the long term.

The rise of the oil refining industry in China, India, and the Middle East is reflected in the global energy system, the agency said. As a result, oil exporters have virtually shifted their focus to Asian buyers instead of consumers in the US and Europe.

An October report from the International Energy Agency said the era of rising oil consumption would end within a decade. The peak demand for fuel in any scenario will not be much higher than consumption in 2019 (about 100 million bpd), and the increase in electricity consumption will be provided mainly by alternative energy, especially solar and wind.

As reported, the UAE plans to produce up to 5 million barrels of oil per day by 2030.

Tags: oil, renewable energy, USA, Азия, Oil refinery plant, price, decline in production

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