Cnooc, Sinochem said to bid for $3b Brazilian oilfield

Updated: 2010-04-15 16:56
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Cnooc Ltd, China's biggest offshore energy explorer, and Sinochem Group may separately bid as much as $3 billion for a 40 percent stake in a Brazilian oilfield owned by Norway's Statoil ASA, two people with knowledge of the companies' plans said.

The stake in the Peregrino field off the Brazilian coast may fetch between $2.5 billion and $3 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the sale process is confidential. Statoil, Norway's largest oil and gas producer, has told potential buyers to tender an offer by today, they said.

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Statoil's Chief Financial Officer Eldar Saetre said in November it's considering to cut its stake in Peregrino to reduce risk and to build funds for the development of other projects. The Stavanger-based company, which has operations in 40 countries, took control of the oilfield in March 2008 after acquiring the remaining 50 percent from Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

Kjersti Tvedt Morstoel, a spokeswoman with Statoil in Oslo, declined to comment when contacted by phone last night. Jiang Yongzhi, Cnooc's Beijing-based spokesman, didn't respond to calls to his office or mobile phone. Hu Hongjun, Sinochem Group's Beijing-based spokesman, didn't pick up calls made to his office or mobile phone.

Statoil targets crude oil output at Peregrino in early 2011 and will start drilling wells in the first half of next year. The field, 85 kilometers off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, has an estimated 460 million barrels of recoverable oil, company spokeswoman Mari Dotterud said on Oct 20.

Statoil, which has operating rights on about 80 percent of Norway's oil and gas production, is expanding abroad to counter dwindling North Sea reserves. The company is 67 percent owned by the Norwegian government.