China’s loans for oil: asset or liability?

China’s leaders have long been concerned with the strategic vulnerabilities associated with rising oil imports. In their efforts to hedge against these, Chinese policy banks have handed out loans that are repaid with oil. By 2015, repayment for these loans generated 1.4-1.6 mb/d of crude and fuel oil deliveries from Venezuela, Russia, Brazil, and Ecuador to Chinese state owned traders. At the same time, China’s national oil companies (NOCs) have been actively investing globally in upstream projects, and were producing around 1.7 mb/d of oil in 2015. ….

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