Perhaps at some point China will take just one day off from rounding up natural resources across the globe. But for now, the fast-developing nation is doing everything it can to lock up a worldwide supply of energy and minerals.

As last week came to a close, Brazil's state oil company, Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), signed an agreement with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (NYSE: SNP), aka Sinopec, in which the latter will receive access to two blocks in the Para-Maranhao Basin off the northern part of Brazil. There may also be cooperation between the companies in Rio de Janeiro's Comperj Petrochemical complex. Beyond that, the countries will cooperate on the development of iron, copper, and coal resources, among others.

The deal was signed amid a Brazilian summit of the leaders of the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). It fell hard on the heels of an agreement by Sinopec to buy ConocoPhillips' (NYSE: COP) 9% interest in Syncrude Canada's oil sands project for $4.65 billion. Last May, China completed a $10 billion oil-for-credit agreement with Brazil.

Also over the weekend, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez announced an agreement whereby the China Development Bank would lend $20 billion to his country. Chavez said the funds would be used for a variety of development activities, including the construction of power plants and highways. He said the funds would be repaid in crude oil.

Three years ago, Chavez, who has long been a thorn in the side of the U.S. and other countries, nationalized his country's energy industry. In the process, he removed such major oil companies as ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) and Conoco from operating positions in the Orinoco basin. Since then, Venezuela's economy has suffered: high inflation (now at 25%), crumbling infrastructure, and sliding oil output. So there's an obvious need for the Chinese funding.

What conclusion should we draw from China's frenetic energy activity? Quite simply, I'm convinced that the country's aggressive securing of future resources, combined with oil's steady march higher, indicates an absolute need for energy representation in all of our portfolios.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't have financial interests in any of the companies listed above. Feel free, however, to send him your comments, questions, or kibitzing. The Fool has a rock-solid disclosure policy.