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Nexen in 2001 formed a joint venture with OPTI Canada to develop the Long Lake, Alta., oil sands property.
Nexen in 2001 formed a joint venture with OPTI Canada to develop the Long Lake, Alta., oil sands property.

Streetwise

China's Canadian energy assets are adding up Add to ...

By now, the story is clear. China needs energy to fuel its growing economy, so it looks to places like Canada that are flush with oil and natural gas. That’s long been known.

But because China’s Canadian deals have come bit by bit, it’s easy to lose track of exactly how much they now hold. For a refresher, we went back and looked at what they’ve bought. A few deals may be missed in the list below, but it offers a glimpse of just how much the Chinese have purchased.

More related to this story

2005

Chinese National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) coughs up $150-million for a 16.7 per cent stake in MEG Energy Corp. That position fell to 15.2 per cent when MEG went public last summer, however, the company now has much higher valuation after producing about 28,000 barrels of oil a day when it last reported earnings in July.

2009

PetroChina paid $1.9-billion to acquire 60 per cent of two projects that were held by Athabasca Oil Sands. Both were undeveloped projects near Fort McMurray.

Sinopec buys an additional portion of Total SA’s Northern Lights project, raising its stake to 50 per cent.

2010

Sinopec pays $4.65-billion for a 9 per cent slice of Syncrude Canada Ltd., which is the oil sands' second biggest operation.

China Investment Corp. pays $817-million for a 45 per cent stake in an oil sands project owned by Penn West. CIC also buys a 5 per cent stake in Penn West itself for $435-million.

2011

CNOOC bails out OPTI Canada by purchasing it for $2.2-billion. OPTI’s main asset was a 35 per cent interest in Nexen's Long Lake oil sands project.

Sinopec bids $2.2-billion in cash for Daylight Energy Ltd., offering a per share premium of more than 100 per cent. Add in Daylight's debt, and the deal is worth about $3-billion.

PetroChina tries to strike a $5.4-billion joint venture with Encana Corp. to develop vast natural gas reserves in northern British Columbia, but the deal falls through.

Take out the failed Encana deal, and you get about $10-billion Canadian energy investments over the last two years. Would China be allowed to launch a deal for a whole company with a market capitalization worth $10-billion? At this point, no one knows, because the federal government hasn't clarified the foreign investment rules. But China doesn't seem to mind, because it's working around it for the time being.

 

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