China's crude oil imports climbed 15.6% year-on-year in the first half of 2006, customs figures show, underlining the difficulty of slowing the country's thirst for energy. The rebound comes after oil imports grew a mere 3.9% in the first half of 2005. China is the second-largest oil consumer in the world and last year imported almost three million barrels of crude per day, or 40% of the total it uses. Still more oil for China is in the pipeline; crude has started flowing through the China-Kazhakstan pipeline, China's first transnational pipeline, but is flowing slowly due to differences over measuring standards.
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