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PetroChina plans $60 bln of overseas expansion

March 29/2010

March 29 (Bloomberg) -- PetroChina Co. plans to spend at least $60 billion in the next decade on overseas acquisitions, challenging Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc in the race to control oil and gas fields.


Ten years ago, PetroChina was a state-owned oil company, but now we have a goal of becoming an international, integrated energy company, Jiang Jiemin, chairman of the worlds largest company by market value, said in a March 25 interview, where he announced the investment plan.


Beijing-based PetroChina spent almost $7 billion in the last year to buy refineries and reserves in Australia, Canada, Singapore and Central Asia. The expansion pits PetroChina against Irving, Texas-based Exxon, which agreed to pay about $30 billion for U.S. gas producer XTO Energy Inc. in December.


Every five, 10 years or so, youll get the occasional $30 billion deal, but this is at least $6 billion every year and thats significant for any major oil company, said Neil Beveridge, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. in Hong Kong. This puts PetroChina on par or exceeding some international oil majors in spending.


Exxon is counting on gas to provide the bulk of its future growth with the acquisition of XTO Energy as well as new developments from the South Pacific to the Celtic Sea. BP, vying with Royal Dutch Shell Plc as Europes biggest oil company, paid at least $8.3 billion to acquire assets over the past 12 months. PetroChina teamed up with Shell last week to buy Australian gas producer Arrow Energy Ltd. for $3.2 billion.

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