TITLE

Hungry for Power

AUTHOR(S)
Liu, Melinda; Roberts, Melissa; Janssen, Peter; Brown, Frank; Gurney, Kim
PUB. DATE
May 2004
SOURCE
Newsweek (Pacific Edition);5/3/2004 (Pacific Edition), Vol. 143 Issue 18, p28
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Abstract
ABSTRACT
This year China overtook Japan to become the world's second largest oil importer--trailing only the United States--and it's looking everywhere for the energy resources it needs to feed its feverish economic pace. the country's blistering growth--topping 9.1 percent in 2003--is making China's energy needs only more acute. China is now following the tried-and-true path of most Western countries: cozying up to the Gulf states. Beijing is even hoping for a piece of the postoccupation oil action in Iraq. Last summer rolling blackouts shut down factories in 21 provinces. More and more Chinese are purchasing their first automobiles: in 2003 mainland Chinese bought nearly 2 million cars, and experts expect 100 million gas guzzlers on China's roads by 2014. After seeing a number of deals slip through its fingers, Beijing has quickly learned that the international hunt for oil and gas is a competitive, unpredictable and sometimes cutthroat business. Last May President Hu Jintao traveled to Moscow to put his seal of approval on a 25-year, $150 billion agreement between the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) and Yukos, Russia's largest oil company, for the construction of a 2,400-kilometer pipeline. Tokyo, which must import nearly all its oil, raised the ante by offering to put up $5 billion for the pipeline's construction and several billion more for oilfield development and exploration. The Japanese proposal envisioned a pipeline carrying Russian oil to the Pacific port of Nakhodka--and notably bypassed Chinese oilfields. If that didn't kill the Chinese deal, then the arrest of the deal's chief Russian sponsor, Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, on charges of tax evasion probably did.
ACCESSION #
13108351

 

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