Pertamina edges out Sinopec for stake in Angolan oil

Updated: 2011-05-11 13:25

By Ying Wang (China Daily)

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BEIJING - PT Pertamina, the Indonesian state energy company, bid about $3.5 billion for Exxon Mobil Corp's 25 percent stake in an Angolan oil block, surpassing an offer from a Chinese rival, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Pertamina is holding talks with Exxon on the stake after beating off competition from China Petrochemical Corp, also known as Sinopec Group, and India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), the newspaper said, citing the person.

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The former member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seeking oil resources to stem a decline in domestic production, while China and India are buying stakes in overseas projects to meet demand in the two fastest-growing major economies. Angola, one of Africa's top oil producers, produced 1.625 million barrels a day last month.

ONGC lost a bid to buy Exxon's stake in Block 31 in Angola, two people with knowledge of the matter said in March. India's biggest energy explorer had offered about $2 billion, they said.

BP Plc owns 26.7 percent of the block and is its operator. The other shareholders include Exxon's Esso unit, with a 25 percent stake, Statoil ASA with 13.3 percent and Marathon Oil Corp with 10 percent. France's Total SA sold its 5 percent stake to Hong Kong-based China Sonangol International Holding Ltd, according to the report.

Indonesia became a net importer after declining output at aging fields led to the country's withdrawal from OPEC in 2008. Crude production dropped to 769,068 barrels a day in April from 788,497 barrels a day in March, said the nation's oil and gas regulator, BPMigas.

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