Offshore oil producer CNOOC said it bought a 16.7% stake worth US$948m in Canadian-based MEG Energy, China's first significant stake in an oil sands project, in a move to secure non-conventional crude oil reserves while they are still relatively cheap, the South China Post reported. Since the viability of oil sands extraction depends on prevailing crude oil prices, with oil-sands extracted petroleum costing 35-40% less in the open market than conventionally extracted oil, CNOOC is betting that global petroleum prices will remain high enough to cover its investment.
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