Sinopec Sees Oil Sands Venture Improving on Larger Suncor Stake

  • Stake increase could `garner a lot more interest from Suncor'
  • Deal to take over Canadian Oil Sands would boost stake to 49%

Suncor to Buy Canadian Oil Sands for $4.4 Billion

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. expects the Syncrude Canada oils-sands venture to potentially benefit as Suncor Energy Inc. is poised to become the project’s largest partner, with a view to boosting output and productivity.

Suncor’s takeover of Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., which will boost its stake in Syncrude Canada to 49 percent from 12 percent, is a “potentially positive” step, Brian Tuffs, head of the Chinese company’s Canadian operations, said in a interview at the Canada-China Energy & Environment Forum in Calgary Tuesday. “Hopefully this will garner a lot more interest from Suncor” to focus on improving performance at Syncrude, he said.

Suncor secured a deal to buy Canadian Oil Sands for about C$4.2 billion ($2.9 billion) by sweetening its offer after earlier bids were rejected. Chief Executive Officer Steve Williams has said the company would devote more resources to boosting Syncrude’s output.

Sinopec, as Asia’s biggest oil refiner is known, is the fourth-largest owner of Syncrude with a 9 percent stake. The Chinese oil producer has invested C$10 billion in Canada, including the Syncrude stake, and sees its Canadian assets as “core” to its long-term strategy, Tuffs said.

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