China Gearing Up to Drill for Oil in U.S. Territory in the Gulf of Mexico?

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Back in the beginning of the year we noted how the Chinese were expanding their influence by buying all sorts of resource companies around the globe, including sources of oil. (See: The Past Week: February 22-28, 2009 (Laura Bush Lives On; Budget Director Peter Orszag/Robert E. Rubin, Iceland Bankrupters; China Taking Advantage of U.S. Weakness As It Looks to Buy Foreign Oil Companies?; U.S. Deaths Spike in Afghanistan; Baracus Caesar Obamacus Meets Barackistanis).

A few years ago the U.S. was able to rebuff a move to by China to buy Unocal. But things have changed dramatically we now can see how our poor financial situation is affecting our ability to handle outside economic threats…and security. According to the LA Times:

China’s push for oil in Gulf of Mexico puts U.S. in awkward spot

A Chinese company’s gambit to drill for oil in U.S. territory demonstrates China’s determination to lock up the raw materials it needs to sustain its rapid growth, wherever those resources lie.

The state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp., or CNOOC, reportedly is negotiating the purchase of leases owned by the Norwegian StatoilHydro in U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico, the source of about a quarter of U.S. crude oil production.

China’s push to enter U.S. turf comes four years after CNOOC’s $18.5-billion bid to buy Unocal Corp. was scuttled by Congress on national security grounds. The El Segundo oil firm eventually merged with Chevron Corp. of San Ramon.

There is some question about what will happen this time around. The speculation in the piece is that due to our economy and the need for cooperation between the U.S.and China, there may not be any real backlash to the current deal.

In addition, since the U.S. has welcomed oil investments in the Gulf of Mexico from other foreign companies, such as Britain’s BP, Brazil’s Petrobras, France’s Total and Shell (Dutch), as well as others, saying “no” to the Chinese may get a little sticky.

But most serious are  the foreign policy implications of China’s moves:

The U.S. risks undercutting its foreign policy goals as well. Concern is growing over China’s aggressive investment in oil-rich nations with anti-U.S. regimes, including Iran and Sudan. Denying China a shot at drilling in U.S. waters would only encourage Beijing to make deals in volatile regions given that new oil reserves in stable, democratic nations are getting harder to find.


Gee, do you get the feeling that things are closing in on us a bit?

Will Congress have any response?  Will there be any leadership from the Obama Administration?  What will Hillary Clinton be thinking and how much leeway will she have in dealing with the situation?  Or will she be ordered to sit on her hands?

Time will tell…

10 Responses

  1. China is a monumental threat to us, in my opinion, and this is just unbelievable that the U.S. would let something like this happen. I absolutely despise that we do business with China, considering it’s long history of human rights violations. The fact that we’ve sold our soul to them by letting them buy so much of our debt is beyond the beyond for me. Thank you so much for alerting me to this.

    Obama is gutless…couldn’t lead a group of clowns in a parade, as far as I’m concerned.

    • I think Obama did lead a group of clowns (fka the democratic party) in a parade (fka the 2008 presidential “election”.

      He reached his pinnacle when the parade stopped at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue..

  2. So we are “too” concerned about the environment to do any drilling offshore for the energy we require, instead we buy it from those in the mideast that would happily see us destroyed. We get about 1/4 of our crede oil from the gulf but will allow other countries to drill there too? And now perhaps China? Am I understanding this correctly Grl?

    Because if I am, then we are not only weak, but we are acting so incredibly naively that our title of “Superpower” is become a joke.

    Even “windfarms” off certain shores, lest they offend certain “aesthetic” sensibilities are a no-no. So what exactly is our energy policy? Because knowing that it is for the most part in the hands of Barbara Boxer and John Kerry is the thing that nightmares are made of. I suspect that Hillary Clinton will have little to say about this.

    Meanwhile China will drill and pollute. And will we cap and tax?

    So many questions, so few honest answers. And so many ideologues now in power who are willing to rain pain and suffering down on those in this country who cannot afford to live in their ivory towers.

    Let me state for the record that I am an environmentalist. I recycle, I compost, I repurpose and reuse. I keep my thermostat love, use fans instead of air conditioning whenever possible and take the bus instead of driving the car about 1/2 the time.

    If wind and solor power were practical for the here and now I would be estatic. They are not. We need to transition. As quickly as possible, as responsibly and practically as possible.

    And also just for the record, I am against any use of corn for energy purposes. Anything that is a food product needs to stay a food product and not be used so that someone can drive their car. JMO. Because there are alternatives for energy. But that won’t get votes for corrupt politicians in the corn growing states will it?

    • The Gulf has been wide open for ages…the problem with other drilling involves off the coasts of FL and CA because of the economics of the tourism/beach trades and the fear of a big spill a like the Exxon Valdez, but from a rig.

      At least that’s what we’re told. I guess big oil leaks floating around the Louisiana or Miss. coasts are not a problem (??).

      Heard a big discussion today with Gov. Ed Rendell and Cramer about natural gas and the potentially huge shale deposits holding gas. Rendell said the technology has advanced quickly and is not the danger to the water supply that is the chief concern with the type of deep, then sideways drilling required, along with lots of water. New York has pass on this so far, but Rendell says they should look at this again since the technology is so much better.
      Rendell wants to allow drilling without a tax at the source, which make the companies happy.

      Rendell is a good showman and salesman but I’m not sure I believe in everything he’s saying at this point.
      I’m skeptical about everthing these days!

  3. Thanks for the article, IA. I’ll just echo what Marge has to say.

  4. Ditto the skeptical about everything Grl! How can we know what it right or wrong, or a good choice or a bad choice when those in positions of leadership do not tell us the truth or skew it to fit their political agenda.

    I’m with Grail Guardian, let’s throw all the bums out. Vote not R or D but simply anti-incombent. Might not get better people but we wouldn’t get worse and we would get more fearful representation.


  5. Well, that’s not always the wisest move. Let’s not suspend our brains!!!

    For example…I ranted about Harry Teague here in District 2 because Richardson pushed him in. Too conservative for me! Turns out, except for a couple of early support of a couple of Obama things, the guy has gotten his guts together and is really questioning a load of the crap and has actually sponsored some really good things for the district. He’s here all the time, unlike his predecessor, the CREEPY Rethug who was so PRO-WAR but voted against every bill that came down the pike to help vets returning from Iraq.

    Steve Pearce was beaten by Teague, then tried to run for the GOP nomination for Senate. Even they didn’t want him.
    But…he’s back again running in this district!! And the seat is in’s a conservative district and even tho Teague is an oil equipment man (like Pearce–they even grew up together) the couple of votes with the Dems are being used to crucify him.

    My decision? I didn’t vote for Teague in the primary or the gnereral election…BUT…I DO NOT WANT this Republican PIG in again. He never held town meetings, he didn’t care about anybody here except his rich, country-club Republicans.

    So, do I vote Teague out, a 1st termer learning to navigate Washington and under pressure from the Obama crowd? Who has come back and really taken brave stands since he’s gotten his feet wet?

    NO. I will vote for Teague this time because A) he’s proven he really cares and 2) he’s 1,000 times better than Rethuglican Steve Pearce!!!

    Seriously, really think before you do anything that could put you in hotter water….You may have a a wonderful Republican to vote for…but…

    • Of course we need to use our brains.

      The scenario you mention is just a case of 2 incumbents running against each other for all intents and purposes. If there’s no one else in the race, I would also vote for whoever is better. My point is that in most seats there is some greedy critter that’s either been in office for 1000 years, or is trying to get established enough to do just that.

      Those people and that attitude need to go! If you’re voting for the better of 2 incumbents, please make sure you let them know the reasons they are getting your vote and that this year’s vote doesn’t automatically guarantee next year’s vote…

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