Friday, March 18, 2011

Total sells 5% interest in Angolan Block 31 for $983 million.. Indians, Chinese, Korean and Thai in queue to grab Exxon’s 25% in Block 31..

Total sold in December 2010 its 5% interest in Block 31, located in the Angolan ultra deep offshore, to the company China Sonangol International Holding Ltd, for approximately 742 million Euros (~US$983 million). Block 31 (water depths of 1,500- 2,500 m) is expected to produce 1,50,000 barrels of crude oil per day and output is expected to start in 2012. A total of 19 discoveries have been made in Block 31 with a total resource of 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The project is estimated to produce 490 million barrels of oil. A total of 48 production and injection wells are planned with development drilling currently underway. Work is also ongoing to pursue the development of discoveries comprising the Palas, Astraea, Juno and Dione discoveries.

BP is the operator of Block 31 with 26.7% interest. The other partners of the block include ExxonMobil with a 25% stake, Statoil with 13.3% and Marathon Oil with 10%. Sonangol, is the concessionaire of the block and owns a 20% stake.

Exxon’s 25% stake in Block 31 is up for sale!!
ExxonMobil is also planning to exit the block. OVL, overseas arm of ONGC, which is trying to acquire 25 ExxonMobil's 25% stake in the Block 31 may not get due to a higher bid from another company, its chairman said recently. We don't yet know who has bid more than OVL but it will be fair to guess that it might be a Chinese, Korean or even a Thai company," he said. "It is not that OVL is out of the race. They have an option to hike their bid. But more importantly, if the company at the forefront is not liked by Angolan government, Exxon may be forced to go to other bidder," the source close to the matter said.

Source: Derrick Petroleum M&A Database

Chinese, who had already lost the chance of acquiring stake in Angolan Block 32 in 2009, seems like it will not miss this opportunity!!

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