AsianOil: PetroChina reportedly weighing exit from Australia, Canada
State-owned PetroChina is reported to be considering exiting its investments in Australia and Canada in a bid to divert funds to more profitable opportunities elsewhere.
This follows a similar shift in focus for another Chinese state-owned company, CNOOC Ltd, which was reported in April to be preparing to exit its operations in the US, UK and Canada. This was attributed to concerns that those assets could become subject to sanctions.
In PetroChina’s case, any efforts to offload assets in Australia and Canada would be following an internal review of the company’s global portfolio that began last year, according to two sources cited by Reuters. Unlike CNOOC, PetroChina would be more motivated to exit its assets by their poor economics than any concern over US sanctions, as it does not have any oil and gas assets in the US. Nonetheless, the sources said political tensions with Australia and Canada were also contributing to the company considering an exit.
In Australia, PetroChina’s assets include the Arrow Energy joint venture and a stake in the Browse gas project. In Canada, the company’s MacKay River and Dover projects are located in the oil sands region, which has seen a number of international investors exit in recent years, with Canadian companies snapping up those assets when they are put up for sale.