Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Chinese National Oil Companies in Ghana: The Cases of cnooc and Sinopec

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
For more content, please see Journal of Developing Societies.

This article uses the case of Ghana to provide insight into the policies and strategies used by, as well as the cooperation between, Chinese state actors in their quest for natural resources in Africa. In 2007, Ghana discovered commercial quantities of oil. While the so-called Jubilee oilfield was initially divided amongst primarily Western oil companies, in 2010 the China National Offshore Oil Corporation partnered with Ghana’s national oil company to try and purchase a stake in Jubilee. Although this bid was rejected, later that year a second Chinese state-owned oil company, Sinopec, was able to access Ghana’s oil indirectly through an offtaker agreement, linked to a $3 billion dollar loan provided by the state-owned China Development Bank. The article uses these two cases to examine the level of coordination between the strategies of Chinese state actors in their attempts to access African natural resources. It shows that China’s national oil companies and policy banks operate in increasingly autonomous ways. This goes against the developmental state thesis, which argues that the Chinese state has full control over the overseas activities of its state actors. The article also shows that national political institutions in Africa can make use of and are able to influence Chinese resource deals, countering the notion of African passivity.

Affiliations: 1: University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Basiru Adam "‘Akoto Osei Wants cdbLoan Renegotiated . . . but Fin. Min. Sticks to Agreement’" Business and Financial Times 2014 14 January 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
2. Africa Confidential "‘The Politics of No.’" Africa Confidential 2010 Vol 51 17 Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
3. African Economic Outlook "‘ Ghana Country Note’" 2012 Issy les Moulineaux OECD Development Centre Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
4. Agyei Emmanuel , Wiafe George "‘ cdbDisburses $188 million to Ghana as 2nd Tranche of the $3 Billion Loan’" Modern Ghana 2013 12 July 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
5. Alden Chris , Alves Ana Cristina "‘ China and Africa’s Natural Resources: The Challenges and Implications for Development and Governance.’" 2009 Johannesburg South African Institute of International Affairs Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
6. Alves Ana Cristina "‘ China’s Economic Statecraft and African Mineral Resources: Changing Modes of Engagement.’" 2013 Johannesburg South African Institute of International Affairs Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
7. Amin Adam Mohammed "‘Testimony of Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director Africa Centre for Energy Policy, Ghana: “Is there an African Resource Curse?” ’" House Sub-Committee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, 18th July 2013 2013 Washington D.C Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
8. Amin Adam Mohammed , Amewu John Peter , Abanga Amewu Abdulai , Boakye Benjamin , Salifu Azara "‘ How a Good Law May Not Stop Oil Money from Going Down the Drain’" 2013 Accra Africa Centre for Energy Policy
9. Arhin Fiifi "‘ ndcPays us$54m for us$600m Chinese loan’" The Statesman Online 2014 16 January 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
10. Beeson Mark "‘Developmental States in East Asia: A Comparison of the Japanese and Chinese Experiences’" Asian Perspective 2009 Vol 33 2 5 39
11. Breslin Shaun, G. "‘China: Developmental State or Dysfunctional Development?’" Third World Quarterly 1996 Vol 17 4 689 706
12. Burke Christopher , Jansson Johanna , Jiang Wenran W. "‘ Formulation of Energy Policy in China: Key Actors and Recent Developments’" 2009 Stellenbosch Centre for Chinese Studies Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
13. Chinese Embassy in Ghana "‘Introduction of China-Ghana relations’" 2013 Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
14. Communications Unit "‘Chinese Delegation Visits Energy Ministry’" Modern Ghana 2012 24 February 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
15. Cook Nicolas "‘Ghana, an Emergent Oil Producer: Background and usrelations’" 2010 Washington Congressional Research Service Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
16. Deng Ping "‘Investing for strategic resources and its rationale: The case of outward fdifrom Chinese companies’" Business Horizons 2007 Vol 50 1 71 81
17. Downs Erica, S. "‘The Fact and Fiction of Sino-African Energy Relations’" China Security 2007 Vol 3 3 42 68
18. Downs Erica, S. "‘ Inside China, Inc: China Development Bank’s Cross-Border Energy Deals’" 2011 Washington D.C. The Brookings Institution
19. Duckett Jane "‘The Emergence of the Entrepreneurial State in Contemporary China’" The Pacific Review 1996 Vol 9 2 180 198
20. Energy Information Administration "‘Oil and Natural Gas in Sub-Saharan Africa’" 2013 Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
21. Energy Information Administration "‘ China Country Analysis Brief’" 2014a Washington D.C. u.s Energy Information Administration Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
22. Energy Information Administration "‘China is Now the World’s Largest Net Importer of Petroleum and Other Liquid Fuels’" 2014b Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
23. Ghana Oil Online "‘Chinese Development Bank Loan: To Be or Not to Be’" Ghana Oil Online 2014 24 February 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
24. Ghana News Agency ( gna) "‘Ghana, China Collaborate to Explore Oil’" Modern Ghana 2009 20 September 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
25. Ghana News Agency ( gna) "‘President Mahama Calls for Faster Release of cdbLoan’" 2014 9 January 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
26. Gonzalez-Vicente Ruben "‘The Internationalization of the Chinese State’" Political Geography 2011 Vol 30 7 402 411
27. Government of Ghana "‘ us$3 Billion Term Loan Facility Agreement between China Development Bank ( cdb) and Government of Ghana (GoG)—Summary’" 2011 Accra Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
28. Hensengerth Oliver "‘ Interaction of Chinese Institutions with Host Governments in Dam Construction: The Bui Dam in Ghana.’" 2011 (Discussion Paper No. 3/2011). Bonn: Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
29. Hodel Mike "‘The Scramble for Energy’s Oil Investment in Africa’" Journal of International Policy Solutions 2008 Vol 9 50 54
30. Houser Trevor "‘The Roots of Chinese Oil Investment Abroad’" Asia Policy 2008 Vol 5 1 141 166
31. Jansson Johanna "‘The Sicomines Agreement Revisited: Prudent Chinese Banks and Risk-Taking Chinese Companies’" Review of African Political Economy 2013 Vol 40 135 152 162
32. Jiang Julie , Sinton Jonathan "‘ Overseas Investments by Chinese National Oil Companies: Assessing the Drivers and Impacts’" 2011 Paris International Energy Agency
33. Johnson Chalmers MITI and the Japanese Miracle 1982 Stanford Stanford University Press
34. Kosmos Energy "‘Ghana: Jubilee field’" 2014 Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
35. kpmg "‘Ghana’s Oil Prospects’" 2013 Retrieved 22 August 2014 from:
36. kpmg "‘ Oil and Gas in Africa: Reserves, Potential and Prospects of Africa.’" 2014 kpmg. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
37. Leftwich Adrian "‘Bringing Politics Back In: Towards a Model of the Developmental State’" The Journal of Development Studies 1995 Vol 31 3 400 427
38. Li Jing , Newenham-Kahindi Aloyisius Marcus , Shapiro Daniel M. , Chen Victor Zitian "‘The Two-Tier Bargaining Model Revisited: Theory and Evidence from China’s Natural Resource Investments in Africa’" Global Strategy Journal 2013 Vol 3 4 300 321
39. Liou Chih-shian "‘Bureaucratic Politics and Overseas Investment by Chinese State Owned Oil Companies: Illusory Champions’" Asian Survey 2009 Vol 49 4 670 690
40. Matisoff Adina "‘ China Development Bank’s Overseas Investments: An Assessment of Environmental and Social Policies and Practices’" 2013 Berkeley Friends of the Earth Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
41. McCaskie Tom C. "‘The United States, Ghana and Oil: Global and Local Perspectives’" African Affairs 2008 Vol 107 428 313 332
42. McLure Jason , Gismatullin Eduard "‘Kosmos Rejects cnooc, bpBid for Jubilee Field, Ghana Says’" Bloomberg 2011 10 March 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
43. Meyer Riaan , Alden Chris "‘ Banking on Africa: Chinese Financial Institutions and Africa’" 2009 (Presentation at the African Development Bank). Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
44. Ministry of Finance and National Planning "‘ us$3 Billion Term Loan Facility Agreement Between the China Development Bank ( cdb) and the Government of Ghana (GoG)—Summary’" 2012 Accra Ministry of Finance and National Planning
45. Moreira Susana "‘Learning from Failure: China’s Overseas Oil Investments’" Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 2013 Vol 42 1 131 165
46. Morgan Barry "‘State-Run gnpcAgrees its Terms with China Amid Jubilee Rumors’" Upstream 2009 25 September 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
47. New Crusading Guide "‘ gnpc’s ‘Secret Strategy Paper’" New Crusading Guide 2010 29 July 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
48. Parliament of the Republic of Ghana "‘ Petroleum Revenue Management Act’" 2011 Accra Parliament of the Republic of Ghana
49. Parliament of the Republic of Ghana "‘ Amendments to the Master Facility Agreement ( mfa), Five Party Agreement ( fpa) and Accounts Agreement ( aa).’" 2013 Accra Parliament of the Republic of Ghana
50. People’s Republic of China ( prc) "‘ China’s African Policy’" 2006 Beijing People’s Republic of China
51. Provaggi Alessandro "‘ China Development Bank’s Financing Mechanisms: Focus on Foreign Investments’" 2013 Stanford Stanford University Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
52. Rupp Stephanie "‘Ghana, China, and the Politics of Energy’" African Studies Review 2013 Vol 56 1 103 130
53. Sanderson Henry , Forsythe Michael "‘ China’s Superbank: Debt, Oil and Influence: How China Development Bank is Rewriting the Rules of Finance’" 2012 Hoboken John Wiley and Sons
54. The Al-Hajj Newspaper "‘Ghana Gets Waiver over $3B cdbLoan’" The Al-Hajj Newspaper 2014 20 March 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014 from:
55. Underhill Geoffrey R.D. , Zhang Xiaoke "‘The Changing State-Market Condominium in East Asia: Rethinking the Political Underpinnings of Development’" New Political Economy 2005 Vol 10 1 1 24
56. Urban F. , Nordensvärd J. , Wang Y. , Khatri D. , Mohan G. "‘ China and the African Oil Sector: Channels of Engagement, Motives, Actors and Impacts’" 2011 Brighton Institute of Development Studies
57. Xu Xiaojie "‘Chinese noc’s Overseas Strategies: Background, Comparison and Remarks’" 2007 Houston, TX James A. Baker II Institute for Public Policy, Rice University

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Perspectives on Global Development and Technology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation