In what is being described as a startling reversal of history, a Middle Eastern energy company is pushing into the Canadian oil and gas market looking for secure supplies.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company has said it has struck a deal to buy Northrock Resources Ltd., a Calgary-based oil and gas exploration firm, for $2-billion from Pogo Producing Co. of Houston. This would make it the first Middle Eastern company to become an owner in the Canadian oil patch.

“It is my understanding through preliminary discussions that they have a desire to diversify into relatively secure geographies,” said Northrock president David Pearce.