Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Private Chinese suitor said to buy Brookfield-backed energy company

People walk to Brookfield Place off Bay Street in Toronto in this file photo.


Brookfield Asset Management Inc. has sold one of its oil and gas holdings in Alberta to SanLing Energy Ltd., extending the slow drip of Chinese capital into Canada's oil and gas industry.

Brookfield Business Partners LP, a unit of the global asset manager, announced the sale of Insignia Energy Ltd. last month in a quarterly letter to shareholders.

The deal resulted in a small impairment for Brookfield, which said it opted to sell the company rather than commit additional capital needed to keep up production. Neither the buyer nor the purchase price were disclosed.

Story continues below advertisement

However, sources say the buyer was SanLing, one of a handful of private Chinese companies that collectively have pumped more than $3-billion into primarily distressed assets through the prolonged industry slump.

Private Chinese suitors have largely replaced the bigger state-run companies as a source of foreign capital in Canada's oil and gas sector after multibillion-dollar investments by CNOOC Ltd. and PetroChina Co. Ltd. underperformed.

SanLing also bought assets out of receivership from bankrupt Spyglass Resources Corp. and is said to have purchased $200-million worth of properties from companies controlled by Calgary's wealthy Riddell family.

A representative with SanLing was not immediately available for comment. A spokesperson for Brookfield pointed to the letter to shareholders but said the buyer was not disclosed.

Brookfield acquired and then privatized Insignia in 2013. The company last produced about 2,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day, primarily from operations in the Pouce Coup region of northwest Alberta, according to marketing materials.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Jeff Lewis is a reporter specializing in energy coverage for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, based in Calgary. Previously, he was a reporter with the Financial Post, writing news and features about Canada’s oil industry. His work has taken him to Norway and the Canadian Arctic. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at