In most countries, 9% GDP growth is a galloping rate. For China, however, this figure marks a 7-year low, and has prompted acute concerns about social stability. The country's leadership has responded with a stimulus plan that will change the world.
Based on the targets of this spending -- roads, railroads, ports, etc. -- I agree with my colleague Chris Barker that this action relights the torch for commodities. Chris pointed to CNOOC (NYSE: CEO ) as a way to play the stimulus, and a recent bit of news strengthens that suggestion.
A CNOOC representative today revealed a plan to invest $29 billion in the South China Sea through 2020. This is one of the world's most prospective deepwater basins, and the statement sends a strong signal about China's commitment to investing in oil for the long haul. This is reassuring in a period of plunging crude prices, and jives with some other major oil players showing signs of life upstream.
I've eyed CNOOC's deepwater prospects before, and Petrobras (NYSE: PBR ) has bubbled up as a potential partner. Other firms already prospecting the South China Sea include Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN ) , Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC ) , and Newfield Exploration (NYSE: NFX ) . If you're not interested in going all-in on the China offshore oil story with CNOOC, those E&Ps could give you some exposure, while keeping you rooted here at home.
Of course, a host of oilfield servicers stands to benefit as well. Atwood Oceanics (NYSE: ATW ) , for example, has a future Chinese drilling commitment under its belt, and subsea systems supplier Cameron International (NYSE: CAM ) has a growing presence in the country.