With China's increasing reliance on crude oil, they have found that they desire an emergency reserve, similar to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) the United States operates.

While the United States looks into expanding its current 727 million barrel capacity, China is looking to boost their reserve capacity to 274 million barrels by 2012. Interestingly, China won't confirm the capacity of their reserve for two years when the second phase of their project is complete.

In the last few weeks, China has confirmed that their strategic stockpile reached 178 million barrels at the end of 2010 while commercial stockpiles stand at 168 million barrels. That's a far cry from numbers out of the United States, where the SPR carries over 727 million barrels of oil and commercial stockpiles hold over a billion barrels. Combine commercial inventories with the SPR in the United States, and the number of barrels is close to two billion!

The concern for U.S. motorists is that China, a much larger country population wise, will continue expanding their reserves and stockpiles, keeping demand for oil at high levels. This will put additional pressure on oil for years and perhaps decades to come until their reserves are filled.

China, the world's second-largest oil consumer behind the United States, saw consumption increase by nearly 13 percent last year vs. 2009, the biggest jump in over six years. China's oil demand, which is composed of output and imports, but excludes stockpiles, hit 439 million tons in 2010, a report said.

Americans and Canadians beware- China may overtake the United States in oil consumption in the next decade or two, driving prices to new records in the process.