Chinese state oil companies have inked two fresh deals in the Americas, as they continue to expand abroad to meet China’s ravenous energy demand, write Ajay Makan in London and Samantha Pearson in São Paulo.

PetroChina, China’s largest energy company by oil and gas production, said on Wednesday it would buy stakes in three Peruvian oil and gasfields from Brazilian state oil company Petrobras for $2.6bn.

Hours earlier Cnooc said it was considering building a terminal to export liquefied natural gas from the west coast of Canada. Read more

Cnooc, the Chinese state-run oil company, has joined the global rush to raise cheap corporate credit, with a $4bn bond, the biggest international issue in Asia in a decade.

The oil group has successfully placed the largest-ever international bond by a Chinese state enterprise and done so in a bumper week for global US$ corporate bonds with US giants Apple and IBM also selling mega issues.

Cnooc has every reason to raise money now to refinance its recent acquisition of Nexen, the Canadian energy group. But does the global rush to market suggest some companies fear the doors may soon close? Read more

Ecuador is licensing a chunk of the Amazon. After touring Asia, Europe and North America, the Andean country’s government has extended from late May to mid-July a deadline by which bid for oil blocks located in the southeast of the country must be submitted.

The government says this will give companies more time to appraise the region’s geology and fill out the necessary paperwork. To some, it could suggest Ecuador had received less interest than initially hoped for. Read more

Christmas has arrived early for China and Malaysia. On Friday, Canadian regulators approved the proposed $18bn acquisition of Toronto-listed Nexen, a global oil and gas company, by China’s Cnooc, a state-owned oil group.

Concurrently, the government also reversed an earlier plan to block the $5.2bn bid for Progress Energy Resources, another Calgary-based oil and gas company, by Petronas of Malaysia.

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Whenever the subject of partners for Argentina’s YPF to develop the Vaca Muerta shale deposits crops up, it isn’t long before someone suggests China as a potential investor.

So Carlos Bulgheroni’s admission that the Bridas group, in which his family and China’s CNOOC each own 50 per cent stakes, is planning to invest Vaca Muerta with YPF will have a lot of people sitting up. Read more

For Chinese resources companies, Canada has long seemed like the promised land. Brimming with oil, timber and minerals, it also appeared more open to Chinese investment and less prone to resource nationalism than its neighbour, the US.

Or so it seemed until last weekend, when Ottawa rejected a $5bn bid from Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned oil company, to acquire Canadian company Progress Energy, sending a shockwave through the Chinese dealmaking community. A $15bn bid by Cnooc for oil group Nexen has been approved by the shareholders of both companies but awaits the OK from Canadian regulators. If Ottawa could turn Petronas away, it could shun Cnooc, too. Read more

By Simon Flowers of Wood Mackenzie

Cnooc Limited’s definitive agreement to acquire Nexen for $18.5bn marks a bold counter-cyclical move in what has been a relatively inactive market in 2012. It may also signal a new phase of Chinese national oil companies-led M&A following a lack of recent high-profile deals. Read more

Shale gas has the potential to transform the global gas industry. A lot of it is to be found in emerging markets, home to seven of the 10 biggest shale gas reserves worldwide. So you’d expect the world’s “supermajors” to be lining up for their slice of the cake.

Sure thing, says Christopher Haines, energy specialist at visiongain, a business information provider. But oil and gas companies from the developed world won’t have it all to themselves. Chinese and Indian companies will take their share, too – though other EM players may be left out. Read more

How much would you pay to avoid fraud allegations?

$700m, it seems, if you are BP. On Monday, subsidiaries of the British oil major filed a lawsuit against Bridas, the Argentina-based oil and gas group that is half-owned by China’s Cnooc, over the terms of a collapsed deal that would have seen Bridas acquire its majority stake in Pan American Energy for $7.06bn. Read more