China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC; CEO.NYSE, 0883.HK) and Ghana National Petroleum Corp (GNPC) failed in their bid to buy a 23.5% stake in Ghana’s Jubilee oil field for US$5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. The stake is owned by Dallas-based Kosmos Energy, which is in turn majority owned by private equity firms Blackstone Group (BX.NYSE) and Warburg Pincus. Gabriel Q.A. Osatey, chief geophysicist at GNPC, said the decision signals Kosmos’ intent to remain in Ghana. It may also be that the bid was too low: Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC.NYSE) has a 23.5% stake in the Jubilee field, which was valued at US$6.75 billion in September. ExxonMobil (XOM.NYSE) had discussed purchasing the stake but backed out of the deal in August. On learning of the Exxon talks, GNPC, which owns 13.75% of the Jubilee field, accused Kosmos of leaving it in the dark. The field is thought to be one of the largest in Africa, with an estimated 1.5 billion barrels of crude.
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