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Chinese Acquisition of U. S. Assets in Full Swing?

Mike Whitwell, a rancher who leases deer hunts on his 11,000 acres near Cotulla, is waiting for drilling to start on his property. He said CNOOC's entrance into the Eagle Ford oil and gas formation could give younger generations a reason not to move away. Bob Owen/Express-News
HOUSTON — State-owned Chinese energy giant CNOOC is buying a multibillion-dollar stake in 600,000 acres of South Texas oil and gas fields, potentially testing the political waters for further expansion into U.S. energy reserves.

With the announcement Monday that it would pay up to $2.2 billion for a one-third stake in Chesapeake Energy assets, CNOOC lays claim to a share of properties that eventually could produce up to half a million barrels a day of oil equivalent.

It also might pick up some American know-how about tapping the hard-to-get deposits trapped in dense shale rock formations, analysts said.

As part of the deal, the largest purchase of an interest in U.S. energy assets by a Chinese company, CNOOC has agreed to pay about $1.1 billion for a chunk of Chesapeake’s assets in the Eagle Ford, a broad oil and gas formation that runs largely from southwest of San Antonio to the Mexican border.

CNOOC also will provide up to $1.1 billion more to cover drilling costs.

The deal represents China’s second try at making a big move into the U.S. oil and gas market, following a failed bid five years ago to buy California-based Unocal Corp.

Intense political opposition over energy security concerns derailed that $18.4 billion deal. But analysts expect few political or regulatory hurdles to the CNOOC-Chesapeake deal.

“The climate is much more hospitable now,” said Juli MacDonald-Wimbush, a partner with Marstel-Day, an energy and environmental security consulting company in Fredericksburg, Va.


2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Powell Gammill
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Comment by Powell Gammill
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Fire sale buddy.  Fire sale.  If you had $2.5 Trillion dollars and the Federal Reserve were actively devaluing the currency wouldn't you want to spend it on something else, rather than hang onto the cash for a rainy day?  And what is the one country that still takes rapidly fading green backs?  There is a new home getting ready to go up for sale next door to my place.  I am getting ready to welcome the Chen's.   Maybe they will sell me some Yuan.

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