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China Petrochemical’s (Sinopec) subsidiary Sonangal Sinopec International has agreed to acquire a ten percent stake in US-based Marathon Oil‘s offshore field in Block 31 in Angola for $1.52bn.

In 2011, Sinopec acquired a five percent stake in the block for $983m from French oil and gas group Total.

The latest acquisition, which will increase Sinopec’s stake in Block 31 to 15%, will also increase its production to 14,600 barrels of oil per day.

Block 31, currently operated by BP, is estimated to have proved and probable reserves of 533 million barrels.

The deal, which is subject to approval from the governments of China and Angola, is part of a $3bn asset disposal target of Marathon Oil set out in 2011 to improve its balance sheet and advance exploration and development projects.

"Block 31, currently operated by BP, is estimated to have proved and probable reserves of 533 million barrels."

In September 2009, Angola state-owned company Sonangol announced that it will buy Marathon Oil’s 20% stake in Angola’s Block 32, valued at $1.3bn.

In December 2010, Marathon Oil sold its interests in production licences PL 025, PL 048E and PL 187 on the Norwegian Continental Shelf to Statoil for $85m.

The transaction includes Marathon’s 20% interest in PL 025 in the Gudrun field, 20% in PL 187 in the Brynhild discovery and a 12.5% interest in PL 048E in the Eirin discovery.

Earlier in March, China National Petroleum (CNPC) agreed to acquire a $4.2bn stake in a Mozambique offshore natural gas field, while it has also agreed to buy a 20% stake in Novatek‘s Yamal-LNG project, worth $20bn, in north-western Siberia.


Image: Marathon Oil storage tanks in Kentucky, US. Photo courtesy of Vbofficial.

Energy