Now is best time for China and Canada to es­tab­lish oil, gas trade: ex­pert

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

and Canada. Yet the vet­eran ne­go­tia­tor said China and Canada have had no en­ergy trade since China Na­tional Off­shore Oil Corp agreed in 2012 to pur­chase Al­berta oil pro­ducer Nexen Inc for 15.1 bil­lion US dol­lars, the largest over­seas ac­qui­si­tion by a Chi­nese State-owned en­ter­prise.

“Cost is the key is­sue,” Han said. “The west coast of Canada doesn’t have ports that can han­dle 300,000-ton oil tankers from in­land, and the con­struc­tion of oil pipe­lines from Al­berta to the west coast has been halted due to protests from res­i­dents.”

In ad­di­tion to State-owned en­ter­prises, pri­vate in­vestors from China have been put off due to the drop in the oil price since last year.

“The ab­sence of a pipe­line to the Pa­cific has made the idea of ship­ping Canada’s oil to Asia im­prac­ti­cal,” said Liu Naishun, a Chi­nese-Canadian en­ergy in­vestor based in the Bri­tish Columbia. “Chi­nese in­vestors value short­term in­ter­est and are con­cerned with time costs. In Canada, the laws and cul­ture can cost too much time.”

How­ever, Han urged China to eye long-term en­ergy se­cu­rity and find new en­ergy part­ners. “Be­cause of shale oil, the United States doesn’t need to rely heav­ily on over­seas oil sup­plies. But it’s im­pos­si­ble for China to ex­plore shale oil due to many rea­sons, in­clud­ing ge­o­log­i­cal and wa­ter re­sources,” he said.

There­fore, China will need to con­tinue im­port­ing oil and rely on sta­ble sup­plies from over­seas sources. “Un­cer­tain­ties still ex­ist over the chang­ing re­gional po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tions in China’s main oil and gas sources, such as the Mid­dle East and Myan­mar, but ship­ping from Canada is safe,” he said.

A del­e­ga­tion of Canada’s largest oil and LNG pro­duc­ers will visit China next week to ex­plore busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Com­pa­nies from Al­berta, a state known for its rich tar sand, have been pro­vid­ing tech­ni­cal sup­port at China’s oil­fields for some time, help­ing to de­velop drilling and re­fin­ery tech­nolo­gies, ac­cord­ing to Han.

How­ever, all the Canadian rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the Sino-Al­berta Petroleum Cen­ter were with­drawn sev­eral years ago, with the cen­ter now largely fi­nanced by the CNPC.

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