CNOOC Ltd.’s proposed $15.1-billion acquisition of Nexen Inc. offers the state-owned Chinese company access to in-demand areas in West Africa and Canada. However, the company already has many oil and gas production sites around the globe, with many still under development.
According to the company’s first-quarter results, production reached 63 million barrels of crude and liquids. Of that, 10.9 million barrels were the product of interests overseas. That works out to about 17 per cent of production. The company also controlled about 93 billion cubic feet of gas with 36.2 billion of that coming from overseas (which works out to 39 per cent of global production).
CNOOC’s total revenues hit $7.8-billion (U.S.) during the first quarter, although that was undoubtedly prodded higher by strong oil and gas prices.
So, while CNOOC has called Canada “a prime location in the world,” and said that “making a foothold in the region could help to achieve sustainable growth of the Company,” the fact remains that it is still only a small slice of CNOOC’s global pie. Here are some of the areas where the company has interests:
CNOOC’s activity in Canada dates back to 2005 when it gained access to 14.2 per cent of Canadian oil sands producer MEG Energy. It expanded further in the oil sands in 2011 when it picked up a 35 per cent working interest in an oil project in Long Lake through OPTI Canada worth $2.1-billion. It also has a 60 per cent stake in an oil and gas company in the Yukon.
In the U.S., CNOOC acquired interest in two shale developments, with a 33.3 per cent stake in each. The Texas-based Eagle Ford project is already a strong producer, and the Colorado-based Niobrara project is being swiftly developed. The company has $1.69-billion invested in these areas and also has some interests in Alaska.
Nexen will allow CNOOC access to West Africa, but this won’t be the company’s first foray into that continent. The company acquired a 45 per cent interest in Nigeria’s OML 130 deepwater oil project (comprised of four fields). That holding is worth $2.27-billion.
In Uganda, the company has a one-third interest in three of Tullow Oil plc’s Exploration Areas for which it paid $1.47-billion (U.S.) in February this year.
But on top of these partnerships, CNOOC is also overseeing the exploration of blocks in Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of Congo, Algeria and Kenya. According to its 2011 numbers, African production volume climbed to 56,348 barrels of energy per day. That added up to a respective 4.2 per cent and 6.2 per cent of the company’s total reserves.
In 2010, CNOOC formed a 50-50 partnership with Argentina’s Bridas Energy for $3.1-billion (U.S.). Through Bridas, CNOOC has access to a 20 per cent stake in Pan American Energy in the country. At one point, it looked as though Bridas might be able to increase its stake in Pan American to 60 per cent (leaving CNOOC with 30 per cent), but that deal with BP fell through in late 2011 after the president of Argentina changed the laws on the amount of oil companies’ export revenues that had to stay within the country.
Beyond China, Asia was CNOOC’s first area of expansion and still produces plenty of oil and gas with many areas still under exploration in Myanmar, Cambodia and Qatar. The company recently made three new discoveries in Indonesia that will expand the capabilities of areas near existing oil and gas fields. Its 2011 numbers indicate that reserves and daily production volume derived from Asia (excluding China) reached 223.2 million barrels of energy -- or 7 per cent of total reserves.
There are also bits and pieces of companies in other parts of the world that CNOOC has gained access to. In Australia, for example, CNOOC owns 5.3 per cent of the North West Shelf Project, which supplies gas to some Chinese customers. There are also CNOOC interests in oil fields in Iraq, as well as Trinidad and Tobago.
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