This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book’s main themes. This book examines how China is adapting to its increasing reliance on imported crude oil and petroleum products and discusses the strategies that China has developed to strengthen its energy security by reducing its exposure to potential supply disruptions and sudden price rises. This book seeks to demonstrate how strategic and market elements interact; show that China has developed hedging strategies to insure against its growing net oil import gap and oil supply disruptions; and explain that the behavior of China and its national oil companies (NOCs) fit a hedging pattern. The most important argument of this book is that hedging is a central feature of China’s energy security policy and that a hedging framework captures how government concerns about security of supply and energy companies’ search for profits are linked. As an investor seeking profits but also security, China ends up hedging its energy security bets.
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