China’s energy strategy in the years to come will determine the extent of its cooperation with Russia on energy matters, according to experts at the recent Gas Infrastructure China Summit in Beijing.
China and Russia signed an agreement last month for their second pipeline gas supply deal of the year (see China and Russia close in on second major pipeline deal, 10 November 2014). Although key details such as pricing have not been settled, the agreement has been heralded as a major step in the burgeoning energy relationship between Beijing and Moscow.
But stronger cooperation is fraught with challenges – such as longstanding mistrust – said Sun Yongxiang, a professor at the Euro-Asian Social Development Research Institute within China’s State Council.
China’s energy use grew by 3.9% in 2012 and 3.7% in 2013, compared with an average annual rate of 1.33% in the rest of the world over the past decade, said Sun.
The proximity of Russia’s abundant gas resources is also advantageous for China, which wants to reduce its dependence on coal but is short of gas. Russia’s plans to raise hydrocarbon output in East Siberia lay a solid foundation for future cooperation, Sun said.
Russia depends heavily on energy to power its economic growth. The output value of the energy sector represents 30% of Russian GDP, while energy exports make up 70% of total export revenue, said Sun.
( interfaxenergy.com Edited by Topco)