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China demand could boost oil price 14 dollar/bbl -US CBO

Written by: Staff
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WASHINGTON, Apr 7 (Reuters) Rising energy demand in China could boost global crude oil prices by as much as 14 dollar a barrel over the next five years, the US Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said on Friday.

''The increase in China's total demand for petroleum in the next five years could cause oil prices to be as much as 7 dollar to 14 dollar a barrel higher (in 2005 dollars) than they would be otherwise,'' the Congressional Budget Office said in a report.

If all those crude oil prices increases reach consumers, US gasoline and diesel prices could rise by up to 33 cents a gallon, the CBO report said.

The CBO said it made its crude oil price projections after looking at two scenarios for China's demand growth through 2010. One assumed oil consumption will grow at 4.5 per cent, and the other assumed about 7.5 per cent demand growth each year.

China, the world's No 2 oil consumer, will use about 7.4 million barrels per day in 2006, still far behind about 21 million bpd in the United States, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

China's rapid demand growth in 2004 caught many global analysts off-guard and has been one of the main drivers behind the meteoric rise in crude oil prices.

Crude oil prices are within sight of their 70 dollar a barrel record and at their highest level for a quarter of a century in real terms.

REUTERSOM BS2330

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