SINGAPORE (Reuters) -PetroChina may sell out from natural gas projects in Australia and oil sands in Canada to stem losses and divert funds to more lucrative sites in the Middle East, Africa and central Asia, two people with knowledge of the matter said. PetroChina's plan follows a similar strategic shift by smaller state peer CNOOC Ltd, which was preparing to exit its operations in Britain, Canada and the United States because of concerns the assets could become subject to Western sanctions. The sales follow an internal review of PetroChina's global portfolio that began last year, the two sources said, declining to be named as the discussions are not public.
China's top offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd. is preparing to exit its operations in Britain, Canada and the United States, because of concerns in Beijing the assets could become subject to Western sanctions, industry sources said. Ties between China and the West have long been strained by trade and human rights issues and the tension has grown following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which China has refused to condemn. The United States said last week China could face consequences if it helped Russia to evade Western sanctions that have included financial measures that restrict Russia's access to foreign currency and make it complicated to process international payments.