Chris Nelder. logi Energy-China: The Vampire Squid of Commodities. Part Two

Outmaneuvering America

Rodgers has no doubt that China understands peak oil and expects future supply disruptions, which is why it’s accumulating foreign assets and diversifying its import options.

Peter Dea, the president of oil and gas exploration and production company Cirque Resources LP, made the same point a bit more obliquely, rhetorically asking if China had no doubts about the future of oil, why would they have recently outbid Exxon Mobil for new drilling in Ghana?

Putting a finer point the difference between the strategies of the U.S. and China, Dea wryly observed that the U.S. has potential for offshore drilling for natural gas, but “it won’t be developed until the U.S. takes energy resource planning as seriously as China does.”

That doesn’t appear to be in the offing any time soon. Washington doesn’t seem to understand the commodity markets at all, Matthews said, nor the shrewd moves that China is making. While Japan already has a strategic mineral stockpile, and China is quickly amassing one, the U.S. is selling off its key minerals: “The lack of knowledge and concern over it in Washington is horrifying, and I can’t explain it,” he moaned.

Well, I have explained it: America has no energy plan, and we won’t have one until we give up our fantasies about energy independence or drilling our way out, admit that oil is peaking, and get serious about planning accordingly.

While America was busy with its hallucinated wealth meltdown and trying to raise some cash by selling assets at garage sale prices, just one of China’s three major oil companies, CNPC, secured 75 resource projects in 29 countries.

Another of the three, energy giant China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), just bought oil assets in the US for the first time. The size of the deal for four deepwater exploration licenses in the Gulf of Mexico was undisclosed, but Norway’s Statoil, the seller, characterized it as “small.”

Still, the purchase is bound to make it more difficult for China to maintain a low profile as it snaps up resources.

Perhaps that’s why it has begun trying to cover its tracks: China OGP, an oil industry newsletter issued by Xinhua news agency, recently announced that it would no longer publish data on China’s stockpiles of crude oil, gasoline, and diesel. (As if that data weren’t hard enough to get already! Killin’ me.)

The lesson on China for retail investors should be clear: Buy domestic reserves while they’re cheap, and hold ‘em, hold ‘em, hold ‘em.

Until next time,

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