News / Asia

China Seeks New Technology in Oil Deal

WASHINGTON — A major Chinese government-owned oil company’s effort to buy a Canadian company could help Beijing get the new technology needed to exploit the largest shale gas deposits in the world.  This is just the latest in a series of Chinese foreign investments that are helping fuel China’s rapid economic growth and increasing energy supplies.  But the latest Chinese move is raising concerns in the U.S. Congress.

Tar sands projects run by Nexen are one reason the Canadian oil company is being offered $15 billion by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation or CNOOC.

Besides oil sands, Nexen has deepwater drilling operations along the U.S. Gulf Coast and assets in Europe's North Sea and elsewhere.

Economic analyst Andrew Holland, of the American Security Project, says China needs new technology to squeeze more energy out of its oil and gas fields.

"This new technology will open some onshore oil and especially offshore oil.  There are some real technology gaps between Western companies and CNOOC," Holland said.

The head of an oil exploration and production company says it is tough to get energy out of shale rock, tar sands, or wells in very deep water.  Chris Faulkner, the CEO of Breitling Oil, says Nexen has the skills China needs.

"When you are operating in those kinds of extreme environments, that’s the latest and greatest technology that exists in our industry," he said.  

The CEO of Armada Oil, Jim Cerna, says better technology could help China tap more energy from its existing reserves. 

"Shale deposits in northwest China could be some of the biggest in the world.  There needs to be some advanced technology applied to that, and they could be sitting on a massive reserve," he said.

A previous Chinese effort to acquire the U.S.-based oil firm Unocal failed in 2005 when it sparked strong political opposition in the United States.

So far, there is less opposition this time, but some members of the U.S. Congress say Beijing wants to invest in North America while placing unfair obstacles on U.S. investments in China.

Analysts say China is trying to avoid political problems by keeping Nexen's staff and promising continued investment and research in North America.  But business analyst and author Handel Jones of International Business Strategies says CNOOC may still encounter problems.

"I think there is going to be a high probability of resistance, and my feeling is that, probably, parts of Nexen will have to be split off for the deal to go through.  I don’t think the U.S. is at all happy with Nexen having a fairly strong position in the Gulf of Mexico," Jones said.

But even critics admit China's investments in foreign oil companies are helping increase global energy supplies and tend to keep prices from rising.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs