The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

A Statoil field worker looks at oil well heads on a well pad at the company’s oil sands operation near Conklin, Alta. The announcement from Statoil and Thailand’s PTTEP that they would sever their oil sands partnership will be the first test of Ottawa’s more stringent rules on foreign acquisitions.
A Statoil field worker looks at oil well heads on a well pad at the company’s oil sands operation near Conklin, Alta. The announcement from Statoil and Thailand’s PTTEP that they would sever their oil sands partnership will be the first test of Ottawa’s more stringent rules on foreign acquisitions.
(TODD KOROL/REUTERS)

Oil sands M&As likely to see slow year

It’s unlikely that merger-and-acquisition activity in the oil sands will pick up much this year as foreign state oil companies, the sector’s onetime buying machines, stay on the sidelines and oil markets remain shaky, TD Securities Inc. predicts.

State-owned enterprises were effectively barred from buying control of oil sands assets except under exceptional circumstances after the Harper government tightened regulations with its approval of the $15.1-billion (U.S.) takeover of Nexen Inc. by China’s CNOOC Ltd. in late 2012.