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CNOOC, Sinopec seal deal in Angola

CHINA'S CNOOC Ltd and Sinopec Group have agreed to jointly acquire a 20-percent working interest in a block offshore Angola from a United States energy company in a US$1.3-billion deal.

Through an equally-owned joint venture, CNOOC and Sinopec have signed an agreement with Marathon Oil Corp, according to a CNOOC statement yesterday.

The transaction is expected to be closed by the end of this year, it said.

Block 32 is a deep-water exploration block with 12 oil discoveries.

The Chinese firms will buy the 20-percent interest in the production sharing contract and joint operating agreement.

Yang Hua, president of Hong Kong-listed CNOOC, said the deal fits in with the company's strategy of pursuing value-driven acquisition.

David E. Roberts Jr, Marathon's executive vice president for upstream, said: "With the divestiture of a portion of our Angola interest, we are able to bring better balance to our overall portfolio by capturing the sizable amount of value we have created and redeploying capital into other growth regions for the company."

Houston-based Marathon operates in the US, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Indonesia. It will retain a 10-percent stake in the block after the transaction.


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