Sinopec buys Occidental’s Argentina assets for $2.5 bn

Sinopec buys Occidental’s Argentina assets for $2.5 bn

Beijing: China Petrochemical Corp, parent of Sinopec Corp, agreed to buy all of US-based Occidental Petroleum Corp’s oil and gas assets in Argentina for $2.45 billion, its first foray into the upstream market in the Latin America country.

The top refiner in Asia and China’s largest oil firm by sales said in a statement on Friday that the takeover was subject to government approvals.

The move adds to a growing list of international purchases by Chinese firms in the past two-year as the country wields its financial strength beyond its borders while many Western peers struggle with the fallout from the global financial crisis.

Occidental’s Argentina units hold interest in 23 production and exploration concessions in Santa Cruz, Mendoza and Chubut provinces in Argentina, according to the release.

As of 31 December, 2009, the concessions held gross proven reserves plus probable reserves of 393 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Gross production from 22 producing concessions totaled over 51,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2009, according to the release.

China Petrochemical Corp or Sinopec Group agreed in October to buy 40% of Spanish oil major Repsol’s Brazilian arm for $7.1 billion, strengthening resource-hungry China’s presence in Latin America.

CNOOC, the third-largest oil and gas firm in China, agreed on Wednesday to acquire 50% of exploration rights in five Australian coal seam gas blocks owned by Exoma Energy Ltd for A$50 million.

CNOOC in March agreed to buy 3.6% tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year for 20-year from BG Group’s Queensland Curtis export plant in Australia that will use coal seam gas as feedstock. It said it would take equity stakes in the gas reserves and production facilities.