China's state-controlled oil producers are targeting struggling energy companies and projects world-wide, opening up production that might not otherwise happen.
In the latest deal, Cnooc Ltd. last week said it would buy one of Canada's largest oil producers for $15.1 billion. If the acquisition of Nexen Inc. passes regulatory hurdles in Washington and Ottawa, it would join more than $50 billion in overseas oil-and-gas deals completed by Chinese companies since 2009, according to data provided by securities firm Jefferies Hong Kong Ltd. That is in addition to tens of billions of dollars in loan-for-oil programs in Venezuela, Brazil, Kazakhstan and elsewhere.
Including Nexen's output, a conservative tally of publicly available data on foreign production for major Chinese oil companies would be in the neighborhood of the total output of Norway, the world's No. 15 crude-oil producer.