Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series
Edited by Carla P. Freeman
Chapter 13: China’s oil industry, international investment and developing countries
Crude oil remains central to the global political economy. China has now become the second largest economy in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP). It has also become the world’s largest importer of crude oil and other liquid fuels. In recent years, studies on the Chinese oil industry have focused on the debate surrounding China’s energy security and its international investment in the oil, as well as the gas sector and the implications for international energy security and geopolitics. This chapter examines the international investment of China’s three largest oil companies with a focus on developing countries. It does so with particular attention to the institutional evolution of China’s oil industry in the context of the transformation of the energy industry’s structure in the world, as well as the reform of the state-owned sector in China. Today, China’s three Chinese oil majors, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) play a key role in the country’s energy security and are the leading actors in related overseas investment, including in developing countries.
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