China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is preparing a joint bid with Ghana National Petroleum Corp (GNPC) for a stake in an oil discovery off West Africa, the Wall Street Journal reported. Exxon Mobil has already offered US$4 billion for a 23.5% interest in the Jubilee discovery, currently held by Dallas-based Kosmos Energy. Kosmos said last week that it had “entered into an exclusive binding agreement” with Exxon over Jubilee, which is estimated to hold 1.8 billion barrels of oil. However, the CNOOC-led bid allows the Ghanaian government – through GNPC – to play a larger role in the project. The government, which would have to approve any deal, was angered by the Exxon agreement, as GNPC had been trying to negotiate an increase in its 13.8% stake in Jubilee. People close to the deal said Ghana was still more likely to opt for Exxon over CNOOC due to the former’s experience in developing oil assets.
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