By June 8, 2017 Read More →

Jim Carr encourages Chinese investment in Canadian oilsands

Oilsands

Shell sold its oilsands earlier this year.  Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr is in China looking to drum up investors for the Alberta oilsands.  Shell photo.

Oilsands home to world’s third-largest crude reserves

While on a five-day trip to China, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr is inviting Chinese investment to the Canadian oilsands, home to the world’s third-largest crude reserves.

In recent months, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips have sold off billions in assets to Canadian producers.  Shell began selling of a number of assets to fund the BG Group buy and under pressure from investors to tidy up its balance sheet, ConocoPhillips left the Alberta oilsands.

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Reuters reports that while speaking on the fourth day of his trip, Carr said the Canadian government’s “minds are open” to Chinese investment.

“We think there are opportunities and we laid out, along with experts from industry, what we believe to be opportunities for them,” Carr told Reuters during a conference call.

“We would welcome investment from any nation that’s interested in the oil sands. The trend of capital flows over the last little while has been international investors have been looking at their opportunities and decided to spread their resources, whereas Canadian investors have stepped up.”

The Stephen Harper Conservative government had a policy that limited control of the oilsands by state-owned companies, including China’s CNOOC Ltd., but they can hold minority shares in projects.

Carr did not give any specifics on what sort of investment Canada would welcome from China.  He said the Trudeau government will look at investments on a case-by-case basis.

Between 2005 and 2012, Chinese companies including PetroChina, CNOOC and Sinopec invested in the oilsands to secure China’s energy demand.

Reuters reports some of those investments like CNOOC’s purchase of Nexen Energy, have faced operational issues and some analysts are wondering if the Chinese would be reluctant to purchase more stakes in the oilsands.

“It’s probably a question not of investing, but whether or not they sell,” GMP FirstEnergy analyst Michael Dunn told Reuters. “Non-Canadian entities have been selling the oil sands, why would the Chinese be different?”

 

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