The U.S. has suddenly found it is losing a strategically and economically important race to secure the nation’s oil supply.
Vice President Dick Cheney had recently been entrusted with the task to procure additional sources of crude oil to help stabilize U.S. gasoline prices.
Mr. Cheney was sent to Central Asia to coax certain allies to significantly increase supplies, but apparently found that many potential suppliers had become committed to China.
“We’re in a race with China and so far we’re losing,” said an administration source familiar with Mr. Cheney’s trip.
Sources also indicated that during his visit to Washington in April 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao rejected outright President Bush’s appeal to cooperate on energy resources to ensure global market stability. On his way back to China, Mr. Hu visited Nigeria, which supplies about 17% of U.S. oil imports.
Oil contracts in many parts of the world are a very shady business. According to a Jamestown Foundation report: “In its substance it evokes the old approach: China subsidizing dictators by paying for pipelines as well as for gas and trying to knock prices down while tying up the producer for 30 years.”
China’s oil supply needs, due to its booming economy, are only surpassed by the United States in terms of overall consumption.
Source: Insight Magazine