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CNOOC Become First Ever Chinese Firm to Invest in Canadian Oil Sand Production

In move that offers more proof of Canada’s shift from the US towards China as its number one oil and natural gas partner, CNOOC Ltd. have made a deal to buy Nexen Inc. for $15.1 billion. It will be the first time ever that a Chinese company owns and operates a Canadian oil sands production facility.

If you look at it the US really brought this on themselves; first by spurning China, then Canada. Chinese firms have focussed on Canada more and more in recent years after US political opposition saw CNOOC’s $18.5 billion bid for the California based Unocal Corp. fall through in 2005. Canada has been looking for an alternative market for its oil after President Obama blocked plans for the Keystone XL pipeline last year.

In a lighter version of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’, Canada and China have paired together, denying the US of both Canadian oil, and Chinese capital.

Michael Black, a partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, commented that “this is really a decoupling of the north-south axis with the US. The US guys just aren’t coming up here the way they used to. It further illustrates Chinese interest in big assets, big reserves and Canadian expertise.”

According to Bloomberg data, in the last ten years Chinese firms have invested %53.4 billion in Canadian oil and gas, whereas the US have only invested $30.8 billion.

“Canada is politically stable, has fantastic assets and technological know-how in the oil and gas sector,” said Dan Cheng, vice president at Calgary-based Matco Financial Inc. “Canadian politicians and companies have been going over to China a lot recently. It’s easy to speculate that there are more deals to come.”

CNOOC have offered $27.50 per common share, a huge premium of 61% on the closing price from the 20th of July.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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  • Ross on July 25 2012 said:
    Another resounding cheer for the ineptness of the US president.

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