Global oil demand will increase by five million barrels per day in the next five years, and China and India will lead the growth in emerging markets, the Kuwaiti oil minister said at the opening ceremony of the 18th Middle East Oil and Gas Conference in Kuwait City on Monday.
"The fastest growth will be in Asia, where consumption is expected to account for more than 30 per cent of the global demand," Xinhua reported quoting Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
Sheikh Ahmad said the Middle East countries, which together hold 65 per cent of the world's proven reserves, would remain the main provider for the growing world demand.
He said China and India will lead the growth in emerging markets, with China's crude imports expected to reach around seven million barrels per day by 2015.
Kuwait, the fourth largest exporter of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has inked an agreement with China to build a joint refinery in China's southern Guangdong province.
Expected to be completed in 2013, the unit would have a crude oil refining capacity of 300,000 barrels per day and produce one million tonnes of ethylene per year.
More than 550 participants, including government officials and oil company representatives, are gathering for the three-day Mideast oil and gas conference focusing on the latest concerns and developments in the oil and gas industry.