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Turmoil in Southwest Asia Sends China Looking for Oil Sources Elsewhere

11 Oct
Oil pump, Baku

Oil pump outside of Baku, Azerbajain (photo source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oil_pump_in_Baku.jpg

A very interesting article in Aljazeera America on the topic of China’s unease with unrest in Southwest Asia’s oil countries (Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran), an unease that has sent China looking elsewhere for global oil supplies. The whole article can be read here. Here are the opening paragraphs of the Aljazeera America story:

“Beijing is digging deeper inroads into alternative oil markets as turmoil in the Middle East threatens a key source of China’s international energy supply, industry analysts told Al Jazeera amid President Xi Jinping’s whirlwind tour of Central Asia, where he has already penned several multi-billion-dollar energy deals.

Xi agreed Wednesday to disburse $3 billion in credits for energy projects in Kyrgyzstan on his visit to the nation across China’s northwestern border. The deal came days after Xi’s visit to neighboring Kazakhstan, where he bought 8.33 percent of an offshore oilfield for a whopping $5 billion — just one in a series of energy deals signed on the trip.

Since the Arab Spring prompted a loss of Chinese investments in the Middle East and North Africa, China has further penetrated markets in Canada — where a Chinese state-owned company recently purchased a local oil giant — Latin America and beyond.

Oil from the Middle East and North Africa accounts for roughly 60 percent of China’s global imports, as it perpetually endeavors to literally and figuratively fuel its economy. But with smoldering conflict in Syria threatening to boil over into neighboring Saudi Arabia and Iran — two of China’s major regional suppliers – China seems to have doubled efforts to look elsewhere.”

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