Following-up on my, previous post about being in the field last week, I saw something else that I did not mention before: Chinese rigs. Perhaps it was a bit distant, but in my photo from last time there is a rig in the distance just left of center. That is a fairly new rig, Chinese-made, and essentially a copy of another rig builder's design. That particular rig is not operated by a Chinese company, but they are here. Not far from that spot, there were workover rigs operating that were flying Chinese flags. That in itself was a bit odd, especially here where I would have thought it would be frowned upon, because while many rigs fly a flag, it is almost always a flag of the logo of the company drilling or the flag of the country the rig is in.
In Gabon, it was Sinopec. Here, it is CNPC. The Chinese operators are drilling in Turkmenistan and pretty much anywhere else they can, especially less reputable locales under various levels of embargo scrutiny. Many have expounded on this issue of China's attempt to secure resources before so I will not belabor the point. And it is not exclusive to oil and gas either. It is interesting to see this resource play occurring right in front of me.