Marketplace has a new podcast for kids, "Million Bazillion!" EPISODE OUT NOW

China, U.S. battle over African oil field

Marketplace Staff Oct 12, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

China, U.S. battle over African oil field

Marketplace Staff Oct 12, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: And in no place on Earth is demand increasing as much as China. And now the Wall Street Journal reports a Chinese-run oil company may go toe-to-toe against Exxon Mobil. Both are making bids for an oil field in West Africa. From Shanghai, here’s Marketplace’s Scott Tong.


Scott Tong: The target oil field in West Africa is one of the largest discoveries in recent years. Exxon Mobil has bid $4 billion for a 23.5 percent stake. Now China wants to trump that bid — and is reportedly partnering with the government of Ghana to make an offer.

David Zweig teaches at the Hong Kong University for Science and Technology.

David Zweig: And China’s saying we’ll help you do it. We got the cash, we’ll bid with your national oil company against Exxon. It’s pretty smart politics. I do think this is really going to get the Americans angry. And really raise their antenna.

Zweig says there hadn’t been much direct competition between the U.S. and China for hydrocarbons — until now.

China’s oil consumption has doubled the past decade; it’s currently the #1 new car market in the world.

Exxon Mobil, meanwhile, is trying to make its first major purchase in a decade; its output fell last year, and says it may not hit its goals this year, either.

In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.