PetroChina buys control of Canada oil sands project

Written by Reuters | Calgary, (Alberta) | Updated: Jan 5 2012, 07:28am hrs
PetroChina became the first Chinese state-owned company to wholly own a Canadian oil sands development after agreeing on Tuesday to buy out its partners stake in a newly approved project for C$680 million ($674 million).

Calgary-based Athabasca Oil Sands Corp said it exercised an option to sell its 40% interest in the MacKay River project in northern Alberta to PetroChina so it could free up money to concentrate on some of its other oil sands and light crude projects.

After the project won approvals last week, the partners had 30 days to decide to exercise put and call options in the stake. They have a arrangement with a larger, nearby project still awaiting a go-ahead from regulators.

The investment came as Sinopec said it will spend $2.2 billion on stakes in US shale properties owned by Devon Energy, showing Chinas appetite for unconventional energy resources in North America is far from being satiated.