PetroChina invests £3.4bn in Encana

PETROCHINA is buying half of a prolific shale gas project from Canada’s Encana for C$5.4bn (£3.4bn), marking the largest Chinese investment yet in a foreign natural gas asset.

Chinese companies such as PetroChina and CNOOC have been scouring globally for unconventional gas assets to reduce reliance on coal and satisfy its energy hunger to fuel its economy, now the world’s second-largest. In January, CNOOC struck a $570m shale deal with US natural gas company Chesapeake Energy, its second such deal with the American company in about four months.

Shares of PetroChina, Asia’s largest oil and gas producer, fell more than two per cent yesterday in Hong Kong trade, lagging the Hang Seng’s 0.7 per cent fall, as analysts said the deal, to be paid all in cash, was pricey.

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