Good for Canada?

State-owned PetroChina buys a controlling stake in two Alberta oil sands projects

PetroChina is coming to Canada. The state-owned Chinese company has agreed to purchase a 60 per cent stake in Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.’s MacKay River and Dover projects for $1.9 billion, the largest Chinese investment yet in Alberta’s oil sands. However, the deal might still have a few regulatory hurdles to clear before it’s finalized. Under the terms of the Investment Canada Act, firms that buy a majority stake in Canadian companies worth more than $312 million must show that the deal is good for Canada. But whether those same rules apply when foreign companies buy a stake in Canadian projects as opposed to entire firms remains unclear. Ottawa has so far hinted it will review the deal. Darren Cunningham, communications director for federal Industry Minister Tony Clement, said Monday that the federal government has the power to review any deals that may compromise Canada’s national security: “You have to prove that this transaction is in the best interest of Canada.”

Calgary Herald