China’s recent push to dominate manufacturing in the renewable energy markets is well documented. Last year, cleantech investment in China was up 30% to $51.1bn in 2010, by far the largest figure for any country. Now, the big red machine (sorry, Cincinnati baseball fans) is reaching its long arm into local and regional oil and natural gas plays.
Chinese energy company Cnooc Ltd. has agreed to pay $570 million for a one-third interest in Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s 800,000 leased acres in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming. The acreage is in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) and Powder River basins. Cnooc is China’s biggest offshore oil and natural gas producer.
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake, one of the nation’s largest natural gas producers, says the investment will help it speed up drilling in the promising Niobrara shale formation and could generate as many as 4,000 jobs in the area.
Late last year, the company paid $850 million to Denver’s Anschutz Corp., owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, for about 500,000 net acres of minerals rights in the Appalachian Basin.