Inhofe voices ‘serious’ security concerns over Chinese firm's oil deal

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeGOP senator on backing Moore: ‘It’s a numbers game’ Overnight Energy: Panel advances controversial Trump nominee | Ex-coal boss Blankenship to run for Senate | Dem commissioner joins energy regulator Senate panel advances controversial environmental nominee MORE (R-Okla.), citing national-security concerns, is questioning a Chinese oil company’s planned purchase of the Canadian energy firm Nexen Inc., which holds substantial oil-and-gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

Inhofe joins a pair of senior Democrats — Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE (N.Y.) and Rep. Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyNet neutrality supporters predict tough court battle over FCC's repeal plan Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Driverless car bill hits Senate speed bump MORE (Mass.) — in questioning state-owned CNOOC Ltd.’s proposed $15.1 billion purchase of Nexen.

“I have serious national-security concerns with the Chinese government, acting through one of its corporations, purchasing a company that will give it control over significant U.S. oil and gas resources,” Inhofe told MarketWatch in a statement.

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“This, combined with China’s closed economy, its prohibition on direct, full investment in Chinese business operations by U.S. firms, and its blatant disregard [for] U.S. intellectual property rights make this transaction even more concerning,” adds Inhofe, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee.

The Oklahoma Republican’s comments follow a late-July letter about the CNOOC-Nexen deal from Schumer to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, whose department heads the inter-agency panel that reviews foreign purchases of U.S. assets that could affect national security.

Schumer similarly criticized China for failing to provide U.S. businesses access to its markets, and said Treasury should “withhold approval of this transaction until China's government has made tangible, enforceable commitments to ensure U.S. companies reciprocal treatment.”

Markey, in a separate letter to Geithner, called for action to ensure payment of Gulf of Mexico royalties from leases that currently allow royalty-free oil-and-gas production.

Another Republican, Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenMcConnell works to salvage tax bill GOP to reduce tax relief by 0B to win over deficit hawks  The Hill's Whip List: Where Republicans stand on Senate tax bill MORE (N.D.), said in late July that he has “concerns” about the CNOOC-Nexen deal.

Hoeven and other advocates of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline have cited the planned purchase of Nexen — a significant player in the Canadian oil sands — in calling for Obama administration approval of the pipeline.

TransCanada Corp.’s proposed pipeline would bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.