TIME Magazine readers got the USA Today treatment when it came to learning why the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) wants to buy Unocal, the ninth largest oil company in the U.S. In the article reporter Eric Roston mentions the Chinese buying spree starting with IBM selling off it’s pc business to Lenovo and the recent bid of Haier America Trading to purchase Maytag. But these deals are far different that the Unocal deal in which it’s all about the oil that Beijing so desperately needs to fuel their overheated economy.
While Roston quotes Congreesman Richard Pombo (R-CA) and his dissatisfaction with the deal he doesn’t go into the deeper details of the ramifications to our own national security should this deal be approved. For one thing, Unocal operates ten platforms in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, which governs access to Anchorage and by the way Elmendorf Air Force Base. It also operates deep sea platforms in the Gulf of Mexico that provide an ideal vantage point for observing our submarine yards in Mississippi and Texas.
I am not saying that there is any threat of war between the U.S. and China, but I do think it is important to protect our nation against any possible future threats. Also left out of the article is what effect the merger would have on gas prices here. It is unlikely that the Chinese will be very willing to sell us what we need when they are using every drop of oil they can find.
Roston concludes with a reminder of what happened to the Japanese 15 years ago when they bought trophy properties in the U.S. and got burned. The Japanese speculated and lost big, the Chinese are buying more carefully and not overpaying.
The readers of TIME deserve the facts in this case and not a glossed over story makes this deal look harmless.