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.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.