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02/20/2013

China biting at OPEC's heels

China's aggressive move taking over foreign oil companies last year is paying off for the energy-starved nation.

China, one of the world's largest economies, spent $35 billion buying foreign energy firms in 2012, according to the Financial Times. That figure includes Alberta-based Nexen in a $15.1 billion deal.

The Chinese economy is growing rapidly. It is set to grow 8 per cent this year and it has no choice but to look outside it's borders to fuel its industry needs.

The Times reported Tuesday the International Energy Association predicts Chinese state-owned firms will produce 3 million barrels a day of oil in 2015, equal to Kuwait's yearly output.

The China National Offshore Oil Corporation's (CNOOC) takeover of Nexen was approved by Canadian authorities last month, even though there was nationalist push-back from some arguing a deal this large concerning the country's resources should not be allowed. The CNOOC move was the most expensive takeover by China into Canadian and American oil interests.

U.S. regulators have also recently approved the takeover, after finding it did not pose a threat to national security.

But China isn't just interested in fuel it can burn. Electric cars are also on the country's radar.

California-based Fisker Automotive, an electric car producer, currently has two Chinese bidders, according to the U.S. edition of China Daily.

Tanya Talaga is the Star's Global Economics reporter. Follow her on Twitter @tanyatalaga

 

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