Outwardly, U.S. shale seems a tough sell to Chinese national oil companies (NOCs) these days, but their reluctance may have more to do with the scrutiny that has been brought on to NOCs for years.
Chinese companies are blamed by the U.S. government for attacks on government institutions and corporate espionage, accusations that China’s leaders deny. Chinas’ NOCs also engages in acquisitions and joint venture in which it may get more out of a deal—particularly technology—than meets the eye.
China NOCs have found it increasingly difficult to invest, including in 2018 when President Donald Trump blocked Singapore’s Broadcom from acquiring Qualcomm for $117 billion. Trump and his predecessor, President Barack Obama, both intervened in Chinese acquisitions.