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Asia past its peak

China’s output will fall this year, the biggest loser as Asia’s oil production drifts lower

THE INTENSE focus on the price war between Saudi Arabia and higher-cost producers has obscured an important trend elsewhere in the market. It appears that China’s oil production probably peaked at one point in 2015, and will enter structural decline some time over the course of the months ahead. This is significant as the country is not just a major crude importer, it is also the world’s fifth-largest oil producer, trailing behind only the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Canada. To give that some context, the country pumps quite substantially more oil than Iran and Iraq. The country’s domestic oil production was up 2.2% to 4.3m barrels a day – or just under 5% of global supply – last year co

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