Opti Canada Inc. acquired by Chinese energy firm in $2.1 billion deal

CNOOC is one of China’s largest producers of offshore crude oil and natural gas

November 28, 2011   by The Canadian Press

CALGARY—Oilsands operator Opti Canada Inc. has been taken over by Chinese energy giant China National Offshore Oil Corp. in a deal worth US$2.1 billion.

CNOOC is China’s largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas and one of the biggest independent oil-and-gas companies in the world.

The takeover is one of many Chinese miners, oil companies and investment firms have made around the world as the country secures supplies of minerals, fuel and other raw materials to feed its rapidly growing economy.

In Canada, Chinese companies have bought up miners, potash assets, oilsands interests and natural gas producers.

Opti’s main asset is its 35 per cent stake in the Long Lake oilsands joint venture with Nexen Inc., the project’s operator.

At Long Lake, the companies pump steam deep underground to soften the peanut butter-thick bitumen so it can flow to the surface. The project is unique in that uses the dregs of each barrel of crude as a fuel source.

The operation has been beset by a number of glitches since it began operating in 2008 that have prevented it from reaching is target production rate of 72,000 barrels per day.

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