China push into Canada is biggest foreign buy
Cnooc Ltd. swept into Canada with its biggest-ever overseas acquisition, a $15.1 billion deal to buy one of that country’s largest energy producers that reignites a debate over the role of Chinese state players in North America’s energy industry.
If completed, the deal for Canada’s Nexen Inc., would mark China’s most ambitious push into the continent’s oil and natural-gas fields. It would give Cnooc a key role in technologies reshaping the energy landscape and open the door for it to operate in North American fields alongside such oil-and-gas giants as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Statoil.
The deal, approved by Nexen’s board, faces government and regulatory reviews in Ottawa and Washington, D.C. Nexen has considerable operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. officials are likely to scrutinize any change of ownership there.
Even in Canada, a country more accustomed to big Chinese investment in its oil patch, the deal could face heightened scrutiny. The offer is several times larger than any previous Chinese investment in Canada and nearly equivalent to total China investment in the province of Alberta, excluding real estate, according to Gordon Houlden, head of the University of Alberta’s China Institute in Edmonton. “It is another order of magnitude” from previous deals, he said.
hmm..somebody has cash to splash..