Until recently Tunisia was considered to be a minor league and relatively underexplored venue in Africa's rapidly expanding oil & gas scene. This situation has quickly changed with new bid rounds and forced relinquishments creating an opportunity for new companies to come in.
With energy demand, predicted to rise 20% through 2025, National Oil Companies are poised to have even an greater impact on the global economy, and in shaping oil producing countries' foreign policies.
With Beijing warning the Candian government not to let political matters interfere with business affairs, the race to tap into North American shale may be a reflection of the broader geopolitical issues at stake.
While national interest is certainly one of the reasons for Chinese investment abroad it is not the only motivation. Other real -- and less threatening -- factors are at play in the investment decisions of Chinese companies.
Oil demand is a function of economic growth. As U.S. GDP growth continues to falter, so too will the country's energy needs. In that light, it's no surprise to hear so many rumblings about the need to strengthen trade ties with Asia coming from the Harper government.