This deal for oil with Venezuela is one of the biggest deals China has ever done. It’s also more-expensive oil, given the distance it has to travel to get to China. Much of Venezuelan oil is also heavy oil, which is a lower grade. You need special refineries to handle it and most of these are in the US.
Forbes Blogs reported that last year that China approved the construction of a large refinery in Guangdong Province and there are a number of new refinery projects under way, with more planned.
Most of them are in Asia and the Middle East. Chinese state oil giants China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and CNOOC are already active in the extraction business in North America.