Friday, May 04, 2007

Oil in the Bay

Here's the stock tip of the day. Well, it's actually a little too late. You should've bought this one yesterday.

The stock price of PetroChina (PTR) jumped a stunning 14 percent in Hong Kong trading on Friday, brining additional excitement about the recent surge at several East Asian Stock market.

Why did the stock rise so much? Primarily because the China National Petroleum Corp - the parent corporation - announced the discovery of a "big whoop" oil field in the Bohai Bay area.

Why do we care? Because many geopolitical, economic and political events in East Asia are connected to China's seemlingly endless thirst for oil. Just look at the Dafur issue and China's close relations with oil-rich Sudan; the drilling for oil in disputed territory in the South China Sea; and the building of bilateral relations with Kazahkstan on the issue of pipelines.

With additional oil in China's own frontyard - Bohai Bay being right next door to Beijing and Tianjin - some might fear that China might have less of an incentive to look for alternative, and perhaps greener, sources of energy. This is particularly apropos given the ongoing conference on climate change in the bustling city of Bangkok, Thailand.

Then again, there are also benefits of China having more oil in its reserves. It would definitely give the Middle Kingdom an opportunity to take a deep breath, by taking off a little pressure from the constant pursuit of energy sources across the globe. And you never know: the new oil discovery might just - if we're lucky - be enough for China to downgrade its imports of oil from Sudan, potentially opening a door for peacekeepers in Dafur. But probably not.... Who knows?

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