Hunter Biden Tried To Broker Energy Deal With China’s State-Owned Oil Company: Emails
Hunter Biden, the second son of U.S. President Joe Biden, tried to broker a $120 million oil agreement in 2014 and 2015 between a Chinese state-owned oil company and Kazakhstan’s prime minister at that time, according to emails recently obtained by British newspaper the Daily Mail.
The Chinese oil company alleged to be part of the deal, the State China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), is not any ordinary firm. Last year, the U.S. Commerce Department identified the company as posing a threat to U.S. national security and added it to a trade blacklist called the “Entity List.”
The Pentagon named CNOOC as one of Beijing’s “military companies” in December 2020. That same month, the U.S. State Department asked U.S. investors (pdf) to steer away from investing in stock and bond indices having “malign PRC companies” on their portfolios, with CNOOC being one of the many companies named. The People’s Republic of China is the official title of China.
The Daily Mail obtained the emails from what is alleged to be Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, showing him travel to Beijing and Kazakhstan in an effort to broker the oil deal in the two-year period. At that time, he tried to negotiate the deal on behalf of a Ukrainian energy firm named Burisma where he was a board member, according to the outlet.
According to the emails, the plan was for the Kazakh government to award drilling rights to CNOOC, while Burisma would operate rigs and wells in the Central Asian country.
Kazakhstan, once a part of the Soviet Union, is rich in oil and natural gas, sitting on one of the largest oil reserves in the world. Currently, an oil pipeline runs from Atasu, a town in Kazakhstan, to Alashankou, a border city in China’s far-western Xinjiang region.
Hunter Biden apparently tried to team up with Karim Massimov, who was Kazakh prime minister from 2007 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2016, to make the deal happen. In the emails, Hunter described Massimov as a “close friend” and his son as a “very good friend.”
Massimov also headed Kazakhstan’s intelligence agency—the National Security Committee (KNB) that succeeds the Soviet-era KGB—until he was sacked in early January this year. Soon after, he was detained on suspicion of treason.
According to the Daily Mail, there is no indication that the treason charge against Massimov is connected to the oil deal.