Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Oil well in Qaidam Basin, Qinghai Province. Credit: John Hill, Creative Commons Over the past few decades, China has steadily and dramatically increased its oil imports as well as is refining capacity. As a result, China is now the world’s largest importer and second largest refiner of oil, helping reshape global energy markets. This week, we’re looking at how and when China became the world’s top importer of oil, how its suppliers have changed, and which Chinese companies are the most important to the country's domestic oil industry. China is the World’s #1 Oil Importer Two decades ago, China’s imports of oil were generally on par with other populous developing nations like India. But they have grown considerably since then: What the country imported in 1999 is just 11 percent of what the country takes in today. In 2017, China even surpassed the U.S. to become the world's leading importer. Last year, China imported 11.8 million barrels per day, outpacing the United States, which imports 9.1 million barrels per day, according Subscribe, register or login to read the rest. Registered users can access a limited amount of content for free.Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.