CNPC, Petronas target Angola oil, gas fields

04 April 2013, Luanda – China National Petroleum Corporation, CNPC, and its Malaysian counterpart, Petronas, are to bid for stakes in two oil and gas fields off Angola. The fields are owned by Marathon Oil.

Reuters reports that this could be the third major energy deal to be sealed this year in Africa by Asian state energy firms looking for fresh sources of fuel for their economies.

It estimated that at least $6 billion worth of oil and gas blocks were being sold by US independent companies, as a result of pressure from shareholders and to take advantage of Asian interest to sell out of non-core assets.

In total, about $16 billion of oil and gas blocks are being sold globally, with $11 billion of that in Africa.

This signalled another banner year for oil and gas mergers and acquisitions, after a record $345.9 billion in 2012, according to Reuter.

Thomsons Reuters data showed Asian firms’ share had more than doubled in a decade, from 7.6% in 2003 to 19.6% last year.

Ernst & Young partner Sanjeev Gupta told the news wire that affordability was not an issue for these large state companies because they had access to cheap government-back funding.

“The Asian national oil companies are expected to pursue overseas acquisition opportunities despite substantial economic worries and geopolitical uncertainty,” said Gupta.

CNPC, the Chinese oil and gas production giant and parent company for PetroChina, agreed last month to buy a $4.2 billion stake in a gas field offshore Mozambique.

Petronas has also been stepping up its overseas purchases, having paid $5.1 billion to buy Canada’s Progress Energy.

Texas-based Marathon first laid out plans in late 2011 to divest up to $3 billion in assets to plough money back into other operations.

According to Reuters’ sources, the company put its entire 10% stakes in offshore Angola blocks 31 and 32 up for sale.

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