Monday, March 15, 2010

Chinese oil giant and Argentinian holding to form a BVI-based joint venture

China's largest offshore oil and gas producer, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) announced that it was investing $3.1 billion for a 50 per cent stake in a joint venture with Argentinian company Bridas Energy Holdings Ltd. Each of the two companies will hold 50 percent interests in Bridas Corporation, a joint venture that will be headquartered in the British Virgin Islands and will focus on oil and gas exploration.

The deal is part of Chinese company's strategy to expand in Latin America region. It will increase Chinese company's proven global reserves of oil by 318 barrels of crude.

According to independent analysts of Beijing, an important aspect of the deal is that Bridas Corporation owns 40 percent of Pan American Energy LLC, while British company BP plc is the owner of another 60 percent. Bridas Corporation, which is involved in exploration and production in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, had proven reserves of 636 million barrels of petroleum and average production of 92,000 barrels per day at the end of 2009.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2010.