Asian oil companies make record buys in 2012

National oil companies from China, India, Malaysia and elsewhere in Asia snapped up international energy properties at a record rate in 2012, buying or partnering in nearly $50 billion worth of deals.

China led the way, purchasing $31 billion in oil and gas assets, according to figures released Monday from PLS, a Houston-based industry data provider.

CNOOC’s $18 billion buy of Canadian oil sands producer Nexen was the largest deal. Other large Chinese buys included a $2.5 billion deal with Sinopec for assets from French oil giant Total in Nigeria, and a $2.2 billion joint venture between PetroChina and Canada’s Encana.

Malaysia’s Petronas was also active in Canada, paying $5.8 billion for Progress Energy, an oil and gas company with extensive operations in British Columbia.

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