PetroChina's move on SPC extends control on prices

PETROCHINA, the biggest oil and gas producer in Asia, said yesterday it would buy a 45 per cent stake in Singapore Petroleum (SPC) for S$1.47bn (&pound;1.38). It also said it would make a bid to buy the rest of the company.<br /><br />The acquisition is the latest in a series of purchases which could increase China&rsquo;s influence on the price of resources.<br /><br />SPC&rsquo;s main asset is a refinery in Singapore, Asia&rsquo;s oil trading and pricing hub, and so the acquisition could give PetroChina more leverage and flexibility in oil trading.<br /><br />It will be PetroChina&rsquo;s first acquisition of an overseas public company.<br /><br />The move into downstream fuel production adds to efforts by Chinese oil majors to buy upstream oil exploration assets around the world.