China makes another grab at US Oil giant

It’s happening all over the Americas. Once the captive audience of the American dynamo… the Americas, and their included oil and gas conglomerates are being courted and outright stalked by Chinese interests.

We all know what happened with Unocal earlier this year.. a government backed Chinese company tried a last minute takeover to buy up the USs’ 9th largest oil producer.

Well, today, a previously unknown (because it was only incorporated on Oct 21, 2005) Chinese company called King Win Laurel Unlimited offered to buy the world’s largest publicly-traded oil company, EXXON, in a Cash deal worth over $US18 Billion.

The offer was rejected because the company deemed King Win as not financially capable of actually going through with the purchase. Fair enough… at least they didn’t run to US Congress.

The SEC raises a good point though:

“Any person who meets requirements and certifies that they are who they say they are can file,” said SEC spokesman John Heine.”

Thus, since King Win passed the SEC’s filling screenings… why wouldn’t they be accepted as a potential suitor. Why indeed.

How long will American companies and politicans be able to continue to put up roadblocks to stop Chinese companies from buying them up?

My Answer.. not very… because in reality, the Chinese own America. They own the American Dollar. And more importantly they own American Debt. In the end the survival of the American economy depends on the rising strength of India and Asia. Only Chinese companies will be able to afford the cost to expand the American oil sector into the ever growing markets in Asia.

The American Dream is starting to look more like the Chinese Renaissance.

15 replies on “China makes another grab at US Oil giant”

  1. How can you see it any other way Jane? Who currently owns the vast majority of American Debt and T-Bills? Who currently has the fastest growing economy? Who currently manufacturers most of the goods for the western world? Who will need the largest amount of energy in the future?





    I fear for the safety of future generations, because as the oil shock approaches, the two largest economys in the world will inevitably have to compete for those resources. Up until now, China has never fired a shot (that I know of) for resources… America, not so benign… but pit the two against each other… I don’t know, it’s a worrying possibility.

    I’d much rather have them compete at the financial/markets level than at a military one.

  2. Japan owned us in the 80s.

    Of course China is the future. Duh! I’ve been saying that for at least two years. India will be another great economic force. However, your prognostication of the demise of the US is not only premature but colored by a subjective and virulent anti-American
    bias based on many misconceptions about the way life is in the US and our national psyche.

    I have a similar vision of the future of Europe which, when I have expressed such sentiments, you amusingly refer to as Euro-bashing. 🙂

  3. Where did I predict the “demise” of the US?

    I said:

    “In the end the survival of the American economy depends on the rising strength of India and Asia.”

    I also said the American Dream is turning into the Chinese Renaissance.. why? Because the American Dream is all about the free market… making your own way.. bettering your position.. and coming from far away lands to do it. China is taking advantage of that American dream, except instead of doing it at the personal, individual scale, it’s now working at a national scale where the Chinese governments sees American money and companies as the key to their economic future and prosperity.

    This could be good or bad for the US Economy, by no means does it mean its’ “demise”.

    I think if it *does* collapse, it will take down the rest of the world, China included, with it… so the point would be moot anyway.

  4. I think I’m conditioned to reading your comments as always bashing the US. I agree completely with your clarifying comment above. I’m only sorry that I am of an age where I will get to see very little of what becomes of this planet when East meets West in the middle and later part of the 21st century. And I’m sure that the East Coast think tanks well stocked with intellectual of every stripe have already recognized that Asia is the happenin’ place for the forceable future both politically as well as economically. I tell all who will listen that our gasoline prices will never be cheap again, not with the Asian competition for energy resources. Western economies will have to adapt to that reality of they will not survive. The US will adapt and will survive. I’m hoping, as much as I bash them, that the Euros will do the same. We need more and more economic security in this world in order to preserve political stability and control the endemnic violence in many third world societies.

  5. Yes, some serious adaptation will need to take place. Europe is lucky in a sense because it has had to deal with relatively high (compared to North America) oil/gas prices for a very long time… plus they have the population density throughout their national landscapes to make mass transport a real and viable alternative.

    They have also invested heavily in rail technology.. and it could conceiveably replace their entire truck fleet… if the capacity was added to do it.

    In North America, we have much much further to go to make a real dent in our gas guzzling habit. Walmart is the perfect’s the owner of the largest truck fleet in the US, and it’s feeling the pinch of high diesel prices… and we’ve only now just hit price levels that the Europeans have dealt with for decades.

    I don’t worry much about Europe in the coming oil shock.. their economy is weak now, but they are perhaps the best poised to adapt quickly to a situation where oil and gas become super-inflated in price.

    North America has a much longer way to go, and the consumer mentality (in Canada and the US) is much different and will take a lot longer to change.

  6. European gasoline/petrol prices are taxed to make them so much more expensive than in North America. When I lived in the UK in the 60s petrol was as high as it is now. It was taxed purposely to pay for other things such as roads, mass transit, etc.

    I noticed even in my youth that demographics played the most important role in deciding peoples life style – the density of the population determined how often you needed your own transportation. With a shop and a green grocer every few blocks, it was quite easy to do daily shopping using a bicycle or your feet pushing your pram for babies and toddlers.

    Americans dealing with the wide open spaces, a higher per capita income, the invention of conveniences such as fridges, freezers and the affordability of both cars and fuel allowed our surburban way of life to develop and flourish. Mass transit has no appeal when there is 50 – 60 miles between small towns and a country that spreads 3000 miles East to West. I don’t doubt that Canada developed much the same way over the last 50 years.

    When I was a kid, my dad took the bus or street car to work, we walked to the grocery store with my wagon in tow to carry the weeks supply of food purchases. We walked to the nearby drugstore, movie and small department store. We loaded up a picnic basket and got on the street car or bus to go to the park for a picnic and swimming.

    Now the adaption to such a simple life is almost too much to contemplate if that is necessary. I know one thing when I retire in January, the first thing I’m going to do is simplify our material possessions and get rid of things we don’t need cluttering up the house. And we are no longer big time consumers. We’ve go everything we need except for one more PC – for me as hubby is tired of sharing with me. I’m done with consumerism. If they invent any more gadgets, I pass. 🙂

  7. “European gasoline/petrol prices are taxed to make them so much more expensive than in North America. When I lived in the UK in the 60s petrol was as high as it is now. It was taxed purposely to pay for other things such as roads, mass transit, etc.”

    You are absolutely correct… and that taxing regime has led to the belief in Europe that mass transit or foot/pedal is, for day-to-day operation, the way to go.

    Personally, I think that this is going to save Europe in the long run, and I wish Canada had been as aggressive because we need that tax money even more than the Europeans because of our vast distances.

    “Mass transit has no appeal when there is 50 – 60 miles between small towns”

    Absolutely. However… i think a few things can be said about North American life.

    #1: The vast majority live within 25-50 miles of a major population center… well in range of rail.

    #2: Those who don’t… generally work in their small town, and so local mass transit in the form of buses or trams would suffice… with major distances covered by rail links.

    “When I was a kid…”

    And this is the way most Europeans operate now… and it will be the only “sustainable” way forward. Just in the past few years my small town has started to have weekly food markets. They are very popular, there is a real underlying sense that this is the *good* way to live, to eat local, fresh, and largely organic food.

    The driving habit is really what North Americans need to kick… but we can’t do it ourselves… people have to work, and sometimes, that means living 50 miles away. The only way to kick the driving habit then is for government to fund mass transit and carpooling options. Only then will a culture of sustainability be able to take hold.

  8. Hey Chris – you’re scaring me. You’re making sense…about more mass transit.

    “The only way to kick the driving habit then is for government to fund mass transit and carpooling options.”

    Getting people to give up their routine of driving (with no passengers) 50 miles to work is a formidable political challenge. The political price will be high because we North Americans feel it is our right to drive on moderately priced fuel any where we want and as often as we want. The cost of fuel and vehicles are within the reach of almost everyone where I live which is a midwestern financial center in a farming state and more taxes is only palatable to the masses if the so called rich pay them. (No matter that the “rich” are already paying the majority of taxes now in this country – no matter what the lefties say).

  9. The political price may be high… but only for a while. If the government were persistent… relentless even, in doling out the scientific, irrefutable facts about oil consumption and the end of cheap driving.. then eventually the public would come around.

    Canada as a country is one of the most wasteful in terms of both water and electricity, I don’t know about oil but I suspect we’re not great. However, I think there is an underlying feeling among Canadians that we *should* be better, so, if government gave us that extra push (which it is doing now, somewhat, with a bunch of incentive) then I think we’d be able to start done the road of lessening our penchant for waste and consumption.

    It’s a chicken and egg thing… people want mass transit, but right now it just isn’t viable for many. And the only way to make it viable is to have some guarantee that riders will use it. The only way to break the cycle is through government funding. And the only way to pay for that is through taxes.

    Canadians are much less averse (though not impressed) towards paying high taxes if it has tangible outcomes. The gas taxes for highways and transport being a good example… but tangible outcomes are the key.. and that requires planning and leadership, something that is horribly lacking in both Canada and the US.

  10. You may have noticed that American pols are totally dedicated to being reelected and will risk practically nothing if it causes them a loss of support or if there is even a mere hint of a loss of support.

    I’m sorry to say that pols are bought and sold IMO in this country with few exceptions. Party discipline is pretty tight. So we spoiled Americans have not heard any meaningful rhetoric regarding conservation or energy and the importance of mass transit from those who lead us nor do I expect that to change.

    It would be unpopular to suggest that we should sacrifice so the risk won’t be taken by our noble leaders. Naysayers would only say that somehow the BIG OIL faction would profit by our sacrifice so no way, we’re not gonna…
    We will wait until disaster is upon us and then move, maybe. And it won’t matter who is leading the country. Until there is a huge price to pay for over comsumption of energy, nada will change. Same as our potential disaster called the social security system. Whoever is opposition will always buck the attempt to solve a problem because the other side might get some good reviews if a solution is found.

    So I’m pessimistic that we will fix this problem in my lifetime.

  11. And that makes me very pessimistic for the overall health of the world economy, because if the US, the most technologically advanced, richest, country in the world, can’t get its’ act together, then it might not matter how many good deeds Canada and others will do while our economic welfare is tied to the US economy.

    THe more I think about it, the more I am very happy that the Canadian government is making serious headway at diversifying the Canadian economy so that it is not so incredibly reliant on the US.

    The economic tragedies of BSE and Softwood lumber have actually spurred the notion that maybe putting all our eggs in the American basket isn’t such a great idea after all.

  12. Yes, Canada has got to do what Canada has got to do. Anyway, I’m certainly not any expert but I’ve been dismayed over the last 25 years by the state of political tactics in this country. You see the resulting polarization but what started it all was Watergate and it’s been payback time every since among the two warring factions (GOP/Conservatives and DEMS/Liberals.

    This constant warfare such as now going on regarding Plame and spouse and propaganda up the yazoo from all sides is making progress on important issues almost impossible while we are mired in more or less trivial games of “gotcha”. So nothing is done about social security, energy, trade issues and obstructionism rules the day especially when it comes to the fight against terror. the issue receiving most attention continues to be abortion rights and scare tactics abound. A pox on all their houses.

  13. Well.. I don’t think you’re alone in your sentiments jane. I think your sentiments are held by the vast majority of people, across all political spectrums. Again I come back to using Canada as an example, but forgive me because it is of course what I know best…
    Canadian politics has also, degraded to a point where we just jump from scandal to scandal and we don’t actually know what the government is actually doing to “govern” Canada. It has been especially bad since the last election with the minority parliament.

    That’s mainly why I’ve been supporting the NDP and why I will vote for them in the next election. They seem to be the only ones who are actually talking about issues that Canadians care about and want to have action on.

    Scandal and corruption are important… but they have overpowered both our governments. The publics reaction in both cases has largely been apathy. But, if it keeps going the way it’s going, I think, and hope, that people will start to get fed up and demand better… and hey, if that means burning a few cars like the Muslim youth of Paris are doing, well, that might be what it takes.

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