Oil Wars: Cnooc and Unocal
All the flak about Cnooc's bid for U.S. owned Unocal Corp. is interesting. To what degree is the U.S government going to get involved is the question. It seems that if the government is going to step in on this issue, it might consider a more comprehensive energy policy regulating the oil industry similar to the defense industry. It is obvious that certain businesses are considered strategic such as weapon systems--and oil. Recent U.S. efforts to develop additional oil sources from places like the Caspian Sea basin (see Fault Lines and Pipelines) underline the effort to secure oil for the future in the face of an unstable Middle East, South America and other politically dodgy places, and a diminishing supply of known reserves. This is not to say that allowing the Cnooc deal to go through would be bad, but rather it will be interesting to watch events unfold as China becomes an economic power house requiring ever larger portions of the global oil reserve. The Unocal deal could be a significant volley in the emerging tug of war for natural resources between China and the west.