By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 11 -- An advisory group to China's government has suggested the country improve access by international investors to China's onshore oil and gas opportunities, said attorney Mitchell Silk of Allen & Overy LLP in New York.
The Development Research Center, an advisory group to the State Council—China's highest governing body—recently recommended this along with reduced government control over domestic energy prices, Silk said. The advisory report was released last month.
"The fact that this is even being considered is a step in the right direction for China," Silk said. "If implemented, the program would not only impact the domestic Chinese market but would also send waves through the global geopolitical landscape."
He does not expect a completely open Chinese market. Having worked in China for more than 20 years, Silk represents foreign companies investing in China and also Chinese companies investing abroad.
Foreign investors have been involved with exploration and production in the South China Sea and onshore in western China for decades. Foreign investors also have pursued opportunities in Chinese pipelines and LNG receiving terminals, but transactions involving foreign investment have been modest, he said.
Silk is watching how state-owned Chinese companies assume the role of investor and gauge political risk in other countries.
"It will certainly be interesting to see where all of this leads once China has a few more large deals under its belt," he said.