China's crude oil imports fell 12.1 percent in February from a year earlier to 20.78 million tons, or 5.44 million barrels a day (bpd), government data showed Friday. February shipments also slid 17.4 percent from January's 25.15 million tons (5.95 million bpd), according to the General Administration of Customs. In the first two months of this year, China imported 45.93 million tons (5. 71 million bpd), down 2.4 percent from the same period of 2012. China could overtake the US as the world's largest oil importer in 2015, earlier than expected, the state-owned China Daily reported on Thursday, citing a senior economist with a government think tank. China's increasing dependence on imported oil has threatened the country's energy security, the newspaper said. The dependence is expected to reach 59.4 percent in 2013, according to a recent report released by China National Petroleum Corp.