The Multiple Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on China’s Oil Security and the Rising Green Opportunities

  •  Haiyu Xie    


The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously challenged the global oil market, and coronavirus-induced oil prices crash, oil demand decline and global economic recession affect China’s oil supply as well. China has high oil vulnerability due to its rising oil import dependency which aggravates Beijing’s concerns about oil security, despite at a time of the pandemic-induced oil oversupply. This study uses the SWOT analytical model to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in China’s oil sector, and the changes in opportunities and threats caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has brought multiple impacts to China’s oil security. Results from the analysis show that the existing opportunities such as oil investments in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and domestic upstream opening-up have been weakened; new threats that the uncertainty over global oil demand-supply and decrease in global upstream investments have emerged; opportunities that an increase in domestic strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) and low-carbon development are rising amid the pandemic. Notably, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the vulnerability of the global oil market to systemic risks and accelerated the transition to renewable energy.

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