World Clock

Sunday, 6 March 2011

China / US Policy Head in Opposite Directions - As Oil Soars to $104

As the White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley has indicated MSNBCs Meet the Press that President Obama is considering tapping in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserves, China is taking a different path.

The US currently has just over 750mm barrels of oil in its SPR Given that the US consumes approximately 21mm daily then this supply would last only 34 days. However given the fact the US imports around 12mm per day then the SPR could last 54 days.

Contrast this to a recent report published in the FT, which shows that China is taking a very different path to secure its future oil requirements (as the diagram below indicates)

Upon completion of this program in 2020, China is expected to have 500mm barrels in reserve, which is the equivalent to three months supply. This would be the world seconds largest oil reserves.

Additionally the Philippines announced on Wednesday last week that it would require oil companies to hold 15 days of oil reserves, this in response to the escalating crisis in the MENA.

This present a grave threat to the US and its position within the global economy. The reason for this is because as the US SPR decline their ability to influence future OPEC meetings declines also, consequently Asia's ability to dictate terms to OPEC increases [potentially].

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