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China replaces the US as the world’s largest energy consumer

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

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China has become the world’s largest energy consumer having overtaken the United States, the head of the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday.

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“China is now the largest energy consumer by our definition,” the executive director of the Paris-based IEA, Nobuo Tanaka, told an industry conference.

”Probably half of the oil demand increase comes from China. Nobody knows when it (will) slow down.”

The IEA advises 28 developed countries. China is not a part of the IEA but the agency monitors the country as its oil demand can have a significant impact on prices.

IEA said that China’s energy consumption surpassed the US by 0.4% at 2.252 billion tons of oil equivalent in 2009 whereas the US consumed 2.17 billion tons. In February, China’s National Bureau of Statistics had put the total energy consumption in the country at 2.132 billion tons of oil equivalent. (more…)