65ADD7A7-E82B-408C-97B7-B183CE03FF7C_mw1024_s_nAs the world’s number one energy consumer China is enjoying the low prices while they last. Never one to settle however, China is finding still more ways to take advantage of the dire straits gripping several oil producers.China’s slowdown is real – preliminary data suggests 2014 will mark the weakest GDP growth in 24 years – but the country still has plenty of money to play with that is taking it places the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wouldn’t dare. Their reward? More oil of course. With tough conditions and greater access to raw commodities, China looks to turn the high risk into equal or greater returns. In Russia, much has been made of the deepening energy ties with its neighbor to the south. With western financing no closer to a return and a hesitancy to dig deeper into its foreign exchange reserves, Russia turned to China for a bailout. China has obliged, agreeing to finance state-owned Rosneft’s debt in addition to opening a $24 billion currency swap program, which could expand further. For its part, China gains access to Russia’s tightly held upstream sector – in the form of the giant Vankor field – and fulfills its needs downstream with favorable long-term oil and gas deals. Further loans and infrastructure investments are likely moving forward – one of China’s biggest debt-rating agencies Dagong believes Russian debt is a safer investment than US government debt. More