The dragon is thirsty. China’s consumption of oil has risen exponentially in the past decade and by last year it was the largest oil importer after the US.
Slowly but surely China is buying up foreign oil and gas reserves to fuel its rapidly growing economy. In little under a year, Chinese firms have signed oil deals worth over $7 billion in Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Syria and Equatorial Guinea. Now they have ventured into Russia. China’s state oil company has bought a £1.6bn Siberian oil field from TNK-BP, sealing access to Russia’s huge reserves. Sinopec, also known as CNPC, defeated a series of rivals to buy TNK-BP’s Udmurtneft field, containing a billion barrels of oil.
China’s moves abroad have many in the US very worried. Increasingly there will be a fight between the two superpowers for access to country’s oil and gas reserves. Who will win?