PetroChina To Ramp Up Acquisitions
PetroChina (NYSE: PTR), China's largest oil company, reiterated its pledge to be an active acquirer of global energy assets as the company believes the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan will increase demand for oil and natural gas. Last year, PetroChina said it would spend $60 billion on acquisitions over the next decade to help meet China's own rising energy demands.
PetroChina President Zhou Jiping said yesterday that the nuclear disaster in Japan has triggered concerns about nuclear safety around the world and the result should be increased demand for oil and natural gas, Bloomberg News reported.
In February, PetroChina paid $5.4 billion to acquire a 50% stake in a natural gas project operated by EnCana (NYSE: ECA), marking the Chinese company's first foray into the North American natural gas market. Last year, PetroChina partnered with Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A), Europe's largest oil producer, to acquire Australia's Arrow Energy for about $3 billion. Arrow is a coal-methane gas producer.
Other Chinese oil majors such as Sinopec (NYSE: SNP), Asia's largest refiner, and Cnooc (NYSE: CEO0, China's largest offshore oil driller, have been active acquirers as well. In December, Sinopec paid $2.45 billion for Occidental Petroleum's (NYSE: OXY) Argentina unit.
PetroChina is the second-largest publicly traded oil company in the world by market value behind Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM).
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