Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cnooc hot to trot

Cnooc persists in bid for Unocal
"We were extremely uncomfortable when the Chinese government took a more active role in Cnooc," said Merjan. "We look at this as securing assets as opposed to doing what's in the best interest of shareholders." The company sold its interest in Cnooc on Tuesday.

Actually, aquiring assets early in a long bull run for commodities is probably a fabulous thing for Cnooc shareholders. Bad for the United States, but then, just about everything is these days. The U.S. produce 5 million barrels of oil a day (and change) importing the remaining 15-20 million barrels.

"U.S. strategic interests are not served by selling a U.S.-based oil company to a company that's 70 percent owned by the Chinese Communist government," Representative Joe Barton of Texas, the Republican chairman of the House Energy Committee, said in a statement announcing that he would hold hearings on the issue this week

Barton Fink is on the House Energy Committee? Who could have imagined. His assertion is fundamentally correct. However, it is an odd time for congresscritters to be talking strategic interests, having hollowed out the North American manufacturing sector, in a wholesale bid to let China sell it back one DVD player at a time.

Which they have done. Interesting times.

As I mentioned before, China is curious to see if the dollars they piled up have any value whatsoever. If this sale is blocked, the ramifications will probably be more severe than any of us can imagine. This is the most important story of the summer. (The Michael Jackson trial being a close second.)

If the sale is blocked, United States dollars have no value.


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