CNOOC is in talks with Nigeria to buy large stakes in the country’s oil blocks, the Financial Times reported. This would put the Chinese state-owned oil company at loggerheads with international oil companies such as Shell, Chevron, Total and ExxonMobil, who already control the blocks in question. CNOOC is interested in buying up to 6 billion barrels of oil, or 1/6 of the proven reserves in Nigeria. Speculation about the initial offer puts it at US$30-50 billion. Nigerian officials have stated that no decision has been made and negotiations are ongoing with CNOOC and all other oil companies in the region. Tanimu Yakubu, the Nigerian president’s economic adviser, said while the government’s current relationships with the Western oil companies are important, the Chinese "are really offering multiples of what existing producers are pledging [for licenses] . . . we love to see this kind of competition."
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