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China's Got a Fever

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.

CNOOC is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. Atwood Oceanics is a Stock Advisor selection, and Petrobras is an Income Investor pick. Drill into any of our newsletters, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On November 25, 2008, at 12:26 AM, aiyoung wrote:

    China's Got a Fever... and the only prescription... is more cowbell!

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