Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Athabasca Oil Sands, bitumen, Canada, Canadian oil sands, China, CNOOC, energy, foreign control of tar sands, Foreign Investment Review Act, Jeff Rubin, Nexen, oil production, oil sands, PetroChina, Petronas, syncrude, tar sands, unconventional oil
Recall that American consumers are (strongly) encouraged to think of Canadian production as domestic production.
CNOOC’s blockbuster deal for Nexen, if nothing else, is a stark indication of how far the goal posts have moved not only for Canada’s oil patch, but also for world oil demand. Only four or five years ago, the notion that a state-owned Chinese company could buy—lock, stock and barrel of bitumen—one of Canada’s premier oil names was politically unthinkable. Any such deal was sure to be turned down by Ottawa under its Foreign Investment Review Act (not to mention the hue and cry that would come from Alberta’s provincial government).
Today, that’s all changed. CNOOC’s $15-billion offer for Nexen follows a number of major foreign transactions in Canada’s energy sector. Among others, Malaysian energy giant Petronas is paying $5.5-billion to get at Progress Energy’s natural gas reserves in British Columbia. Earlier this year, PetroChina completed a two-pronged deal for Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. that tallied $2.5-billion. In 2010, Sinopec paid $4.65-billion for a 9 percent stake in Syncrude, which runs Alberta’s largest oilsands mine.
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