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China CNPC Buys Exploration Rights To Canada Oil Sands

BEIJING — In a sign of the expanding international ambitions of China’s oil companies, China National Petroleum Corp. has bought the rights to explore for oil in Canada.

The state-owned parent of Hong Kong- and New York-listed PetroChina Co., will develop an oil sands field, which is estimated to contain some two million barrels of an extremely thick, and hard-to-process form of oil called bitumen.

CNPC will join China’s other two biggest oil companies, Sinopec Group and Cnooc Ltd., in investing in Canada’s oil sands.

An official at CPC subsidiary China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corp. confirmed that the company would explore for oil in Canada, but declined to offer any more details. According to a statement the Chinese Ministry of Commerce posted on its website Friday, officials at the Canadian province of Alberta granted the company exploration rights for 11 fields covering a total area of about 260 square kilometers in January. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Wall St. Journal

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