China’s CNOOC Buying Canadian oil Sands Producer

November 2011, Vol. 238 No. 11

CNOOC Ltd., one of China’s three main state-owned oil and gas producers, has agreed to buy Canadian oil sands producer OPTI Canada Inc. for $2.1 billion.

The acquisition would expand a growing Chinese presence in Canada’s oil sands industry following multibillion-dollar investments by other state-owned companies.

OPTI owns a 35% working interest in Long Lake and three other project areas located in the Athabasca region of northeastern Alberta, CNOOC said. The remainder is held by Nexen Inc., a Canadian energy company that is the sole operator. Alberta has the world’s third-largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, with more than 170 billion barrels. Total production from Alberta oil sands is forecast to nearly triple to 3.7 million bpd in 2025.

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