Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

China out front at Calgary oil show

China out front at Calgary oil show
June 9, 2010
CBC News

Chinese companies were well represented at the World Petroleum Show, which runs June 8 to 10 in Calgary.Chinese companies were well represented at the World Petroleum Show, which runs June 8 to 10 in Calgary.

As the world's top players in the oil and gas industry gather in Calgary for a high-stakes trade show, the largest contingent and most impressive displays are from China.

The emerging energy-sector powerhouse has more than 100 delegates representing nearly 70 companies at the World Petroleum Show and Conference, which wraps up at the Stampede grounds Thursday.

The China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation — a state-owned company — has the largest display at the show, where new ideas and technologies are pitched and big deals are made.

"Each oil company is internationally operated. So we can not only focus on China. We should go to overseas to expand to more markets," said Quingshan Meng, who works for a subsidiary of that company, which provides equipment to oil producers.

"So it's why we should go to Canada to purchase some oilsands projects and other projects."

As the world's most populous country's economy continues modernizing, its leaders see Alberta's oilsands as an important energy source, said analyst Randy Ollenberger.

China's consul general in Calgary, Lei Jianzhong, agreed.

"Alberta is the second-largest reserve of oil, so the Chinese investors are looking for the market here too," he said.

"Calgary is the North American oil and gas centre. Most of the companies have their headquarters here and China has big production facilities either for domestic supply or international supply," he added.

China's presence in Alberta's energy sector has recently become more prominent. In April, Sinopec — another state-owned Chinese oil company — paid nearly $5 billion for a stake in Syncrude. And in 2009 its parent company PetroChina spent about $2 billion to buy the MacKay River and Dover oilsands projects from the Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.

"Syncrude is run by Exxon — they get to see how Exxon runs things and perhaps take those learnings to their own oilsands mining development, which is Northern Lights," said Ollenberger.

If it goes ahead, Enbridge Inc.'s proposal for a pipeline from B.C.'s coast to Edmonton could entice China to invest even more in Alberta's oilsands, according to Ollenberger.


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