Trump touts big energy deals in Asia

From BBC - November 13, 2017

US President Donald Trump wraps up a 12-day tour of Asia on Tuesday which he said created $300bn (228bn) in sales to companies in the region and several major energy deals.

Energy agreements made up roughly half the total value of deals in China.

If it proceeds, a project in Alaska would mark the first major investment by a Chinese energy firm in the US.

But analysts have doubts over whether this, and other, multi-billion dollar projects will be realised.

Mr Trump adopted a defiant tone on commerce during his five-nation tour through Asia and said the US would no longer tolerate "chronic trade abuses".

He stressed the need to narrow "unfair" trade deficits while touting billions of dollars in commercial deals, mostly with China.

"We have made some very big steps with respect to trade, far bigger than anything you know, in addition to about $300bn in sales to various companies, including China - that was $250bn and going up very substantially from that," he said in Manila on Monday.

But it is unclear how much of the total figure includes past agreements or potential future deals. Many of the deals are non-binding, and some had been previously announced.

Energy deals

Among the energy agreements, the highest value was China Energy Investment Corporation's plan to invest $83.7bn over two decades in shale gas and chemical manufacturing projects in the state of West Virginia.

That was followed by a $43bn deal to develop liquefied natural gas in Alaska, between China's top state oil firm Sinopec, Bank of China and China Investment Corp, and Alaska Gasoline Development Corp.

Also in China, Cheniere Energy signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Petroleum Corp for LNG sales.

Two US energy companies - AES Corp and Alaska Gasline Development Corp - signed a memorandum of understanding with Vietnam's PetroVietnam Gas.

The US and Japan also confirmed their "Strategic Energy Partnership" which the White House said was designed to "promote universal access to affordable and reliable energy in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa".

Powerful ambitions

The agreements with Chinese companies were seen as the most notable.

John Driscoll, director at JTD Energy Services in Singapore, said the Chinese have been pushing to expand their energy portfolio for more than a decade.

Uncertain future


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