Marathon Oil sells Angolan offshore block to Sinopec

offshore angola-QR9iudjz0 sxc.huDevelopment drilling on the Block 31 began in 2010 with first production in Q4 of 2012. (Image source: QR9iudjz0/sxc.hu)Marathon Oil has announced that it has sold a stake in Angolan deep water play to Chinese firm Sinopec for US$1.52bn

The US company has given away 10 per cent stake in Block 31 to Sinopec subsidiary Sonangol Sinopec International, Reuters reported.

Reports early April indicated that China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas were considering bids for Marathon’s stakes in two oil and gas fields — Block 31 and Bloack 32 — offshore Angola.

Reuters said at that time, however, that Marathon could have difficulty in disposing of the stakes to either CNPC or Petronas as its Angolan partner Sonangol had the first right of refusal on the blocks.

Sonangol had earlier blocked a US$1.3bn deal to sell a 20 per cent stake in Block 32 to China’s CNOOC and Sinopec by exercising this right in 2009.

Texas-based Marathon Oil first laid out plans in late 2011 to divest up to US$3bn in assets to plough money back into other operations.

Its partners in Block 31 are operator BP at 26.67 per cent, two Sonangol subsidiaries at 25 per cent and 20 per cent, Statoil at 13.33 per cent and SS 31 at five per cent.

Development drilling on the block began in 2010 with first production in Q4 of 2012.

Block 32 currently has front-end engineering and design (FEED) work ongoing on the Koambo development, which will be comprised of two floating production, storage and offloading vessels.

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