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Now China's Buying Oil In The Gulf Of Mexico

• The Business Insider

WSJ: Cnooc Ltd. is in talks with Norway's StatoilHydroASA over a deal for a few leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, a deal that would open the U.S. Gulf to China's oil companies for the first time, a person familiar with the matter said.

The move is significant as Cnooc's scuttled $18.5 billion bid for California-based Unocal Corp. in 2005 is widely seen as having deterred state-owned Chinese oil giants from investing in U.S. oil and gasassets. Cnooc withdrew its offer for Unocal after it drew protests from some U.S. politicians.

But as we noted yesterday, the political tides have changed. In 2005, it was easy to block investmnets on political grounds, because there was no shortage of cash. Plus, this is just a few leases -- putting their toe in the water, it looks like -- not an $18.5 billion bid for a US company.

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