China's energy gap is set to widen: largest oil importer by 2015.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch commodities report: “China’s energy gap has been widening at a startling rate in recent quarters, as demand for thermal fuels has continued to grow amid lacklustre domestic output. China’s oil production increased by 84 thousand b/d per year p.a. in the past 10 years, but output has fallen in recent quarters due to unplanned outages and steep decline rates. On our estimates, oil demand will grow by an average annual rate of approximately 4.8% from now to 2016, surpassing flat supply growth through the period. The gap will also continue to widen in natural gas, with demand growing yearly by 9.4% but supply only expanding by 5.1%, on average …just as North America’s energy deficit continues to narrow. North American thermal fuel oil production is on the rise. Since reaching a trough in 2005, domestic US natural gas output has increased by 27% through 2011, reducing foreign natural gas imports by 46% to 5.3 bcf/d, from 9.9 bcf/d. Similarly, after an unexpected turn in 2008, domestic oil production in the United States increased by 17% to 2011, bringing down net oil and petroleum product imports by 12% to 8.8 from 11.3 million b/d. As a result, we now estimate that China could surpass the United States as the world’s largest net oil importer by 2015. Should domestic gas production grow as we expect, China could also become the world’s second largest natural gas importer after Japan before the end of the decade.”