China National Offshore Oil Corp is leading a group to buy Norwegian oil driller Awilco Offshore for US$2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. The oil services arm of China National Offshore Oil, China Oilfield Services, would provide most of the funding for the acquisition, likely using proceeds from a September public offering in Shanghai. The paper cited sources who said the deal could still fall through, and that a formal bid requires approval from China Oilfield Services’ board and the Chinese government. Awilco’s market capitalization is US$2.1 billion and an offer will probably be priced at a premium. Its shares have been rising due to speculation over an acquisition.