(EnergyAsia, February 27, Friday) — China’s oil consumption growth is set to slow this year but experts do not fully agree on the extent of the slowdown.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects 2009 demand to grow by 1.1%, the lowest growth rate since 2001, and down sharply from last year’s 4.4%.

The Paris-based agency predicts China’s oil demand to reach 7.95 million b/d this year.

The China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association (CPCIA) has also forecast slower consumption growth this year, but it has declined to provide data.

It acknowledged that Chinese government’s plans to bolster economic growth, and attempts to revive the automobile industry would stimulate oil demand growth.