Petronas buys Canadian gas producer for $5.3bn

Malaysian state energy firm Petronas has agreed to buy Canada's Progress Energy Resources for $5.3 billion to secure stable supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from North America, it said.

"This acquisition will provide Petronas with significant long term strategic gas resources in a geopolitically stable region," its president and chief executive Shamsul Azhar Abbas said in a statement late Thursday.

The deal would cement Petronas' position as a major global LNG player, he added.

Last year Petronas established a joint venture with Progress to develop a portion of the Canadian company's shale assets and an integrated LNG export facility in western Canada.

There is growing demand for LNG in Asia's energy-hungry economies, especially in Japan where power firms have had to step up conventional electricity generation with the country's nuclear plants shut down.

Public scepticism of nuclear technology has grown in Japan after last year's tsunami swamped the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, sending it into meltdown and causing the world's worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.

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