October 31, 2005

Japan and China:oil policy in Japan Focus

Japan Focus is definitely paying a lot of attention on energy security issues in East Asia recently. The newsletter contains articles on related issues almost weekly.

In this week's issue two articles on respectively Japan and China are included:
Is China to blame for the rise in oil prices? by Niu Li.
This is the JF introduction:
Many news accounts of surging oil prices have pointed at China, and to a lesser extent India, as culprits given the rising thirst for oil to fuel their high growth economies. This survey of oil demand and consumption by Niu Li challenges these assessments by showingthat China’s oil imports are only one-fourth those of the U.S. Equally important, China is far less dependent on oil for its energy than is the U.S., and in 2005 its oil imports increased only slightly in line with Chinese efforts to conserve energy and favor non-oil energy sources. The problem of spiking, and long-term high oil and energy prices lie above all in two realms. One is the fact that we are fast approaching the tipping point at which world oil production begins to decline, or Hubbard’s Peak in the theory of peak oil explained in several Japan Focus articles. If this is correct, we face long term high and rising oil prices. The other is the failure, above all by U.S. policymakers, to make even token moves toward conservation through the use of tax and other policies to curb the rampant increases in oil consumption that distinguish the U.S. from virtually all other economies. The U.S. is not only by far the world’s largest oil and gas consumer; it is also the largest importer. And in contrast to many other nations, there is no sign of policy-driven efforts to control consumption. Japan Focus.

The second article:
The roots of the Japanese oil victory in Libya by Michael Penn.
This discusses the recent activity of Japanese oil companies in developing Libyan oil fields.

[am at work, so haven't read either of these yet... hope they're interesting]

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