Tag: Cnooc

PetroChinaThere is no respite in China’s hunt for energy assets. A month after taking a stake in a British refinery, PetroChina  is paying $5.4bn to buy into  a large Canadian gas field project owned by Calgary-based Encana.

The state-controlled company is taking a 50 per cent in a transaction that dwarfs the two  recent deals totalling $1.3bn by rival CNOOC with US-based Chesapeake Energy for American gas projects. In 2010, Chinese oil groups spent $24bn on foreign acquisitions. Given the flying start to 2011, it could be even more this year.

As Bernard Simon reports from Toronto on ft.com, the focus of these deals is so-called unconventional gas – gas locked into shale and/or coal, which requires new technologies for its development. As well as buying foreign energy reserves, Chinese companies want to acquired know-how for possible use in China, where there are reported to be big reserves of unconventional gas.

Sheila McNulty

This has been a busy week for US natural gas. It started off with the US signing an agreement to help India exploit its shale gas resources during President Barack Obama’s visit to that country. The agreement mirrored one the US had signed with China some time back to also help that country make the most of its shale.

These are both striking agreements because they demonstrate that other countries see tremendous potential in natural gas. And yet the US government has failed to appreciate the expertise and experience that launched the global shale gas scramble is in its own backyard. The US gas boom has generated so much capacity in America that prices have collapsed.

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