China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) could purchase interests in two Nigerian offshore oil blocks as current owner Royal Dutch Shell restructures its business in the troubled region, the Wall Street Journal reported. People familiar with the matter said that the 49.8% stakes in the two oil blocks could fetch as much as US$900 million. A unit of Italian oil and gas firm Eni SpA holds the remaining shares in the blocks. If CNOOC were to follow through on its interest, it would be just the latest in a string of African energy acquisitions by Chinese companies as Beijing looks for ways to meet rising domestic energy demands. In January 2006, CNOOC bought a 45% interest in Nigeria's Akpo oilfield for US$2.27 billion as well as a 35% stake in a license to explore for oil in one of the country's offshore blocks.
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