China's Energy Grab Is About Know-How, Not Resources

They want revenue and technology
Photograph by Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

Chinese oil companies went on a buying spree this week. On Monday, Cnooc, the offshore component of China’s three-headed, state-owned oil apparatus, agreed to pay $15 billion cash for Canada’s Nexen. Not to be outdone, Cnooc’s state-owned cousin, Sinopec, quickly cut a deal to buy a 49 percent stake in Talisman Energy‘s British unit for $1.5 billion, giving it access to North Sea oil and natural gas fields. Two days later, Royal Dutch Shell announced it had signed a handful of partnerships with Cnooc and CNPC, China’s largest oil and gas company, for offshore exploration projects ranging from the coast of China to West Africa.

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