If you look at a map of the world, you can see how Brazil used to nestle right in the nook where the Gulf of Guinea curves into West Africa, back when the two continents used to form a single landmass known as Gondwana. It's no coincidence that these offshore areas now comprise two of the world's greatest petroleum prizes, both of which have oil-hungry China transfixed.
Last year, China's CNOOC
So far in 2009, China has been much more assertive in its West African activities.
Last month, we saw Sinopec Group -- the state-owned parent of China Petroleum & Chemical
Next, at the end of last week, CNOOC and Sinopec agreed with seller Marathon Oil
If China, via its state-owned champions, pulls in both Addax and the Angola stake, then it will be just one West African oil deal shy of a hat trick. That's where China's next energy move comes into play.
Last month, I mentioned "CNOOC Ltd.'s recent efforts to snag a stake in Africa-focused Kosmos Energy." A private venture funded by Blackstone
With Ghana's national oil company, a partner in the field, taking an active role in the sale process, CNOOC is at a disadvantage compared to outfits like BP