Energy use in both China and Asia is shocking. For example, the demand for petroleum in China in 2010 reached 8.6 million barrels per day, and is expected to increase to 14.2 barrels by 2030. China has improved its refining capacity so that it meets most of its current and expected needs, but the belief is that the country will nonetheless need to import 11.7 barrels of oil in 2030, up from the 4.8 million it imports today.
The numbers in India are smaller but still remarkable. The country consumes 3 million barrels daily, while to thirds of those are imported. The International Energy Agency believes that together, the two countries will be responsible for 50-65 percent of the increase in petroleum demand over the next twenty years.
Distrust and desperation are expected to drive the two countries apart, causing them to compete for energy as opposed to joining forces. The rapid modernization of the emerging Asian giants means unprecedented energy-focused competition. With careful planning, the two countries may be able to negotiate international investments and agreements, thereby avoiding the problem in the years to come.