Premier excited by China’s interest in investment

James McLeod
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Kathy Dunderdale

Premier Kathy Dunderdale was enthusiastic Tuesday morning coming off a week in China talking up natural resource investment and the province’s offshore oil and gas industry.

Dunderdale said the Newfoundland and Labrador delegation covered a lot of different files in the past week, and she’s excited about the prospect of additional investment in the province’s offshore oil industry.

Dunderdale had meetings with Sinopec and the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) about investment in the province’s offshore oil industry — especially the three newly discovered basins off Labrador.

‘Significant interest’

“Both of those companies — but particularly CNOOC — expressed significant interest in the offshore data particularly that we brought with us,” Dunderdale said.

 “That’s why you do these kinds of trade missions; you have to get on their radar. And we wanted to get on their radar. We knew that we had to be well-prepared when we came. This is very serious business. There’s competition coming from all over the world for those investment dollars.”

Just before she left, speaking at the Noia oil and gas conference, Dunderdale talked about the need to change the way the province’s offshore regulator sells land parcels — offering smaller parcels and giving more time for potential bidders to study exploration data in order to decide whether to make a bid.

More competition

Dunderdale said those factors, and increased interest from Chinese investors, means the potential for more competition in the offshore.

“We really value ExxonMobil, Chevron, Suncor, all the players in our offshore, but it’s extremely important to us that we attract other players to our offshore. Competition will work extremely well for the people of the province,” she said. “We’re talking about a different land tenure regime where we put up smaller blocks of land, where we have more companies bidding, which will bode well for the people of the province, and we’ll get a better a result — that  will really be a good thing for Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Chinese investment has been controversial in other parts of the country. When CNOOC bought Canadian oil company Nexen for $15.1 billion last year, national security concerns were raised over a Chinese state-owned company being so heavily involved in the oilpatch.

But Dunderdale said Chinese companies would be playing by the same rules as everyone else.

“If China decided to become involved in our offshore, there’s nothing to stop any Chinese company from engaging in a bid or partnering with other companies already active in the offshore now,” she said. “In fact, all the companies that are operational in our offshore are here talking to Chinese investors. In terms of, you know, the global economy, everybody is engaged with China because you can’t afford not to be.”

Dunderdale said the trip was primarily arranged by the provincial government, with help from the federal government and the embassy in China.

In addition to the natural resource talks, the delegation dealt with educational issues — 38 per cent of international students at Memorial University are Chinese — and the seal hunt.

Dunderdale said preparation for this trade mission has been going on for two years.

In addition to university officials and people from the provincial government, Nalcor representatives were part of the delegation. There were also representatives from Alderon Iron Ore Corp., the Fur Institute of Canada and Vogue Furriers as part of the province’s delegation.

Twitter: TelegramJames


Organizations: CNOOC, Sinopec, Nexen Alderon Iron Ore Fur Institute of Canada

Geographic location: China, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Rodney Bolt
    July 07, 2013 - 02:45

    Be careful on what you are doing Miss Dunderdale.China practically owns the US. I would suggest you concentrate on lowering our taxes and giving us better roads to drive on.Serve the people and you will gain respect.Protect the fishermen and find better prices for them to they can once again earn a decent living.Cod fish is what made our New found land.Not oil.

  • Scott
    July 03, 2013 - 13:03


  • Tony Rockel
    July 03, 2013 - 11:44

    The Chinese will be laughing all the way to the bank, after dealing with this bunch of buffoons.

  • saelcove
    July 03, 2013 - 09:53

    When dealing with china it,s there way or no way,One of the reason the keystone pipeline is going to be built ( ship oil to china )

  • BC
    July 03, 2013 - 07:53

    Dianne, we're drilling it and selling it. Hard to move refined product around, as it tends to be explosive. Doesn't really matter who buys it, so long as they play by our rules (local hiring, local investment, focus on safety). After that, it hardly matters who it is buying it - Newfoundland receives the greatest benefit from those then that would pay the highest dollar. If that's the Chinese, what odds?

    • Robb
      July 03, 2013 - 08:48

      Great point is good to see someone put these liberal and ndp jokers, like Diane, in the corner where they belong...she spews without the slightest clue of what she is saying. But, you have to expect these jokers to put a negative spin on everything the govt does...this is their lowball tatics, and just makes one want to hurl. And Willi Makit is no better.....something smelly.....????...what are you, in grade 2....just what the hell does something smelly's probably just your socks, but please lay off the no-brainer partisan comments..they just stink

    • Eli
      July 03, 2013 - 14:57

      No more than this post RB.

  • WillI Makit
    July 03, 2013 - 07:27

    Peeewww - something smelly just wafted out when I opened this article....

  • Dianne
    July 03, 2013 - 06:38

    people we got to put a STOP to this...NOW she talking about selling of OUR RESOURCE to the CHINESE...Those RESOURCE are belong to the people...We should be BENEFITING from those...NOT JUST THE CRUMBS...WHERE IS OUR...FOUR WANT TO BE ON THIS MATTER...MR BALL...MR BENNETT...MS BENNETT...AND MR DANNY D...SPEAK UP

    • Robert
      July 03, 2013 - 08:38

      Dianne! So what do you think we should do with our resources? What could possibly be the difference between dealing with China and any other country and at the very least the Chinese pay their bills? Maybe we should leave it all in the ground and go back to jigging cod! Smells like a Liberal blowing off steam!