CHINA is buying up oil and gas reserves across the world at an unprecedented pace.
Figures for 2012 show the world’s second-biggest economy unleashed its spending power on energy assets this year, spending a record $US35.7billion. The figure includes oil and gas prospects and assets further down the supply chain, such as refineries.
But it excludes the investment China will have to make to increase production, estimated to be billions more.
Among the assets China has bought are two companies with large blocks of the British North Sea, Nexen and Talisman. The purchase of Nexen alone, which also owns tar sands in Canada, accounted for $US18bn of China’s spending.
China’s three state-controlled oil giants — PetroChina, Sinopec and CNOOC — have also bought fields in Nigeria, Australia, Gabon and Saudi Arabia. Divestments by some of the large Western oil companies is making their task easier, as it cuts competition for assets.