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Global oil conference illustrates Zhoushan's growing influence

Updated : 2021-11-16 (chinadaily.com.cn)

The IPEC 2021 & Commodity Investment and Trade Promotion Month in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, served as a platform for exchange and cooperation in the global oil industry, senior officials said. It has become an important carrier for global companies to discuss oil and gas, share opportunities, and seek common development in the new era.

Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said the country's total oil and gas consumption and imports have continued to grow in recent years. "China has entered a new stage of development. We have always strived to maintain the stability of the market, expand the opening-up of the energy sector, and carry out comprehensive international cooperation based on the concepts of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation."

Energy cooperation is an important part of global economic cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative and is also an area of great concern to the international community.

China has established inter-governmental energy cooperation mechanisms with more than 90 countries and regions as well as cooperative relations with more than 30 energy-related international organizations and multilateral mechanisms.

The country has signed more than 100 energy cooperation agreements.

As one of the provinces with the highest per capita income in China, Zhejiang has always been among the top in the country for consumption capacity and level of oil and gas.

Zhu Congjiu, vice-governor of Zhejiang, said since the establishment of the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the development of the province's oil and gas industry has accelerated. The entire oil and gas industry chain has "one center, three bases, and one demonstration zone".

As China's first pilot free trade zone consisting of land and marine anchorages, the Zhejiang free trade zone has continued to promote the liberalization and facilitation of investment and trade across the oil and gas industry chain in recent years.

New developments have been achieved in terms of oil refining capacity, liquified natural gas receiving scale and oil storage capacity.

Lu Pengqi, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said: "In the future, we will continue to play the role in connecting governments and enterprises, matching supply and demand, and providing professional and international public services for trade and investment cooperation between Chinese and foreign enterprises. We will also continue to support the innovative development of the Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone."

"In a green, low-carbon and sustainable development environment, it has become necessary to build a clean, safe and efficient energy system and accelerate the realization of the safe transformation and upgrading of the oil and gas industry chain," he said.

Long Guoqiang, member of the Party Group and deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said at the conference that building a dual-cycle core hub for oil and gas commodities is not only related to national energy and resource security issues, but is of great significance to maintaining the safe and stable operation of the regional industrial chain and promoting low-carbon transformation.

Oil and gas are important energy sources as well as vital sources of petrochemical materials.

In response to climate change, major countries have proposed a timetable for carbon neutrality. China will strive to achieve carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. "In the long run, the role of oil and gas as energy sources will continue to decline, and their role as sources of petrochemical materials will exist for a long time," Long said, adding that replacing traditional energy with renewable energy is a gradual process over a long period of time and must be discussed in a long-term and orderly manner.

In 2021, global oil and gas prices will rise, and some countries will experience energy shortages. This has sounded the alarm for smoothly advancing the energy low-carbon transition. In his view, it is necessary to build China's oil and gas bulk commodity dual-cycle core hub from the perspective of the entire industry chain.

He took Zhoushan as an example.

Zhoushan is located on the main international waterway of the Western Pacific Ocean. It has the advantage of being a deep-water port and its location adjacent to the economic center of the Yangtze River Delta.

Regarding the establishment and improvement of oil and gas trading centers, Long suggested increasing the influence of oil and gas bulk commodity pricing and developing delivery and storage services for related commodities.

During the first three quarters of this year, Zhoushan achieved 3.83 million metric tons of international ship bunkering and 8.21 million tons of bonded fuel oil settlement, making it the sixth-largest bunkering port in the world.

It makes Zhoushan the world's fastest-growing and efficient bunker supply center.

"We must firmly grasp the historic opportunities brought by the information technology revolution empowered with digital technology, promote digitalization, intelligence, and networking, and create a future-oriented intelligent dual-cycle core hub," Long said.

Jiang Yan, chairman of the Shanghai Futures Exchange, said the financial and trade needs of enterprises in the entire industry chain can better serve the oil and gas industry to smoothly survive this extensive and profound systemic change.

"The global oil and gas industry pattern is undergoing profound changes."

Mike Muller, director of the global board of directors of Vitol Group and head of Vitol Asia, said in a video speech on energy outlook that many goals of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties cannot be achieved without investing in new fuels.

"This is where carbon trading can play a role. China's carbon emissions trading system may become one of the main places for such price discovery. More importantly, it can help eliminate carbon dioxide."

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The IPEC 2021 & Commodity Investment and Trade Promotion Month in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, serves as a platform for exchange and cooperation in the global oil industry. CHINA DAILY