The sharp drop in the price of oil by almost 50% on average over the course of
2015 stimulated global demand. In 2015, China increased its crude oil imports
by more than 10% in terms of volume – the fastest rise since 2010.
China accounted for roughly 13% of global oil consumption and imports in 2015. The
country took advantage of the low prices to stock up on crude oil. In the US, oil
imports stagnated in 2015, putting an end to the decline in oil imports there that
started in 2011. The main reason for the drop in US oil imports between 2011
and 2014 was the country’s increasing exploitation of unconventional oil and
gas reserves as a substitute for a certain percentage of US oil imports,
explaining the lower volume of crude oil trading in 2013 and 2014. Since late
2015, the US has again been importing more oil, as local production sites have
been forced out of the market due to the low price for oil worldwide, among
In fact, oil production has been declining in the US since early 2015.