PetroChina (0857.HK)(PTR.N) agreed to pay C$5.4 billion ($5.4 billion) for half of Encana's Cutbank Ridge shale gas project, marking the largest Chinese investment in a foreign gas asset.

The deal also marks China's third acquisition of a shale gas play after CNOOC Ltd's (0883.HK) twin deals with U.S. firm Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N).

China's state energy firms have since 2010 embarked on a spree of gas asset buys to fuel a domestic boom that aims to triple the use of the lower-carbon fuel in the next decade.

China is developing gas liquefaction technology, hoping to unlock vast reserves in sanction-gripped Iran and also to win big-ticket engineering contracts in the gas projects they acquire.

The following lists the gas deals China landed:


PetroChina (0857.HK) in early 2010 entered a $3.1 billion joint bid with Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) to buy Australia's coal-seam gas player Arrow Energy. Arrow approved the deal in July 2010.

The Shell-PetroChina joint venture will integrate Arrow's Australian assets with Shell's existing coal-seam gas assets and Shell's site for a planned liquefaction plant on Curtis Island, Queensland.

Shell and PetroChina will each own 50 percent of the gas produced by the LNG plant and Shell said it was likely to sell its gas to China. Online target: 2015/17


No.3 Chinese oil and gas firm CNOOC Ltd (0883.HK) agreed in January to buy a 33.3 percent stake Chesapeake Energy Corp's (CHK.N) leasehold acres in Colorado and Wyoming for $570 million.

The deal came just a couple of months after CNOOC agreed to take a 33.3 percent interest in Chesapeake's Eagle Ford acreage in South Texas.

CNOOC will pay $1.08 billion cash at closing. CNOOC has agreed to fund 75 percent of Chesapeake's share of drilling and completion costs until an additional $1.08 billion has been paid. This second payment was expected by end of 2012.


The latest $5.4 billion Cutbank Ridge deal came after nine months of talks.

Cutbank Ridge, comprising 635,000 net acres in northeastern British Columbia, currently produces 255 million cubic feet of gas a day from proven reserves of about 1 trillion cubic feet.

Canada's largest natural gas producer Encana Corp (ECA.TO) agreed in June 2010 to negotiate a joint venture with CNPC to develop the Canadian firm's shale gas properties in northern British Columbia.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding that could see the Chinese firm get a stake in Encana's Horn River and Montney properties in Canada's westernmost province.[ID:nN24198120]


As part of a 20-year gas supply deal CNOOC signed with BG Group (BG.L) in March 2010, the Chinese company will also take a 10-percent stake in one of the two LNG processing units at BG's export plant in Curtis, Queensland, which is slated to start on line in 2014.

CNOOC will also own 5 percent stake in some of BG's key coal seam gas fields in Australia.


CNOOC will acquire 50 percent of the exploration rights in five Australian coal seam gas blocks owned by Exoma Energy Ltd (EXE.AX) for A$50 million.

Potential coal seam gas and shale gas reserve in the acreage owned by Exoma reach 2.83 trillion cubic metres, CNOOC has said.


Sinopec will buy a minority stake in Chevron Corp's (CVX.N) deepwater gas fields in Indonesia, the U.S. oil major said in December.

Chevron said it had awarded engineering and design contracts to Technip SA (TECF.PA) for the floating production units and to Worleyparson Ltd (WOR.AX) for the subsea and flowline systems.