The changes taking place in the global energy market are startling and unnerving many oil-producing nations.
Since last June, the crude oil price has fallen by more than a half, down to around 50 US dollars a barrel, but it is not alone. Last December saw US natural gas prices fall below 3 US dollars per million BTU, a traditional unit of energy, for the first time since 2012, and this is perhaps only the beginning.
As the world's second largest economy keeps growing, no one needs a reminder about China's huge demand for energy. The country imported more than 300 million tons of crude oil in 2014, and that means close to 60% of China's oil relies on imports. Despite the rapid increase in domestic natural gas production, China is seeking new gas deals with gas-rich countries. The signing of the 400-billion-US-dollar gas deal between China and Russia was perhaps the most important event for China's energy sector in 2014.
So, how is the current adjustment in the global energy market affecting China's energy sector? How can China deal with these changes?
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Ding Heng speaks to Nick Butler, a columnist on energy for Financial Times and visiting Professor at King's College London in the UK, and Dr. Philip Andrews-Speed, Principal Fellow & Head of Energy Security at the Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore.