China’s offshore oil and gas company CNOOC agreed in early April to buy 3.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year until 2030. The Australian LNG energy project is operated by BG Group. Though the precise value for the deal is confidential, Australian officials confirmed estimates its worth about AU$80 billion (S$103 billion) — the country’s biggest single company-to-company contract ever.
The latest CNOOC deal now makes China the world leader of investments in clean energy. For 2009, China spent $35 billion, double what the U.S. did at $18.6 billion ranking second. China plans to spend even more in the year ahead, ramping up projects in renewable energy, including wind power and solar PV manufacturing, clean water and non-renewable energy sources, such as natural gas and oil. In total more than $162 billion was invested in clean energy worldwide, reports the Pew Research Center Trust.
Countries like Brazil, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Canada, Australia, and even parts of Europe, Russia and India are also jockeying to gain a global leadership position in clean energy sectors. In particular, Asia has captured much of the solar PV manufacturing and natural gas industries while Brazil and parts of Europe are heavily investing in biofuel, wind power and hydro ocean wave power. The main goals of investing in clean energy are to renew long-term manufacturing bases, create export opportunities, jobs and businesses, states Phyllis Cuttino, who directs the Pew Environment Group’s Global Warming Campaign.
Most recently, China has clinched a slew of energy and resource-related deals meant to help ensure access to the commodities needed to keep its fast-growing economy booming. Further, deals include China’s massive push to capture high speed rail contracts worldwide including in the U.S. While it has also bought 60% of the Canadian Oil Sands projects that hold the largest oil reserves on Earth — even more than Saudi Arabia’s. Additionally, China now leads the world with the largest gold reserves as it divests from the U.S. dollar into valuable commodities for industrial economic recovery.
Just days before, CNOOC announced plans for a US$3.1 billion joint-venture with Bridas Energy Holdings Ltd., a major Argentine energy firm. Then, Royal Dutch Shell PLC said it plans to explore for natural gas with China National Petroleum Corp. in southwestern China’s Sichuan province. That followed news that Arrow Energy Ltd., an owner of gas assets in Australia, had accepted a joint takeover bid from Shell and PetroChina worth US$3.15 billion. Finally, China also signed 15 deals with Russia worth US$1.6 billion. We can expect more to come.
James Rickman is an analyst, author, and expert in business development and sustainable business services with over 30-years experience.