Canada to relax ownership limits for Petro-Canada

Canada's government plans to ease foreign and individual ownership limits for Calgary-based Petro-Canada, Canada�s one-time national oil company. Natural Resources Minister Ralph Goodale said amendments to the Petro-Canada Public Participation Act will eliminate a 25% restriction on foreign ownership and increase the limit on individual ownership to 20% from 10%.


CALGARY�Canada's government plans to ease foreign and individual ownership limits for Calgary-based Petro-Canada, Canada�s one-time national oil company.

Natural Resources Minister Ralph Goodale said amendments to the Petro-Canada Public Participation Act will eliminate a 25% restriction on foreign ownership and increase the limit on individual ownership to 20% from 10%. Foreign investors now own about 16% of Petro-Canada.

Company CEO Ron Brenneman said the changes will give Petro-Canada competitive access to capital markets and the flexibility needed to help finance future investment opportunities in the East Coast Offshore, Alberta oilsands, and Western Canada natural gas areas, as well as in refining and marketing.

Some analysts see the change as a preliminary to Ottawa selling its remaining 18% stake in the company, worth about $1.5 billion (Can.). Goodale said the change is not related to a sale and there are no immediate plans on the horizon to sell the federal interest. He said the changes are intended to make the company a more-competitive and agile player.

Petro-Canada was formed 25 years ago as a national oil company to ensure security of oil supply and give Ottawa a window on the oil patch. It has operated as a publicly traded company for a number of years.

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