Friday, October 1, 2010

The Chinese are Rockin....Repsol to Sell Brazil Assets to Sinopec for $7.1 Billion

In one of the largest Chinese oil acquisitions to date, Spain's Repsol Friday announced the sale of 40% of its Brazilian assets to China Petrochemical Corp., or Sinopec Group, for $7.1 billion. The joint venture, valued at $17.8 billion overall, guarantees Repsol key funding to explore vast and coveted offshore oil fields in South America's biggest economy.

The transaction is also another sign of China's growing prominence on the international energy scene, as it expands its access and ownership of raw materials needed to back the country's economic expansion. The biggest oil takeover by a Chinese firm to date has been Sinopec Group's $7.2 billion acquisition in 2009 of Addax Petroleum Corp., based in Switzerland, only slightly more than the venture announced Friday.

The joint Brazilian operation stands as one of Latin America's largest foreign controlled energy ventures, as it will develop some of the world's most important exploratory discoveries in recent years, Repsol said in a filing with the stock market regulator. Repsol will have controlling interest in the joint venture with a 60% share. At the center of the deal is Repsol's holdings in the coveted subsalt area offshore Brazil, which had been anticipated to constitute a long term cashcow for the Spanish oil giant.

The subsalt play is exceptionally expensive because the oil is found in water depths of more than 2,000 meters and several thousand meters further under the sea bed below layers of sand, rocks and salt. Repsol has said previously that bringing its Brazilian subsalt oil finds into production could cost between $10 billion and $18 billion. Friday's deal eliminates the need for an initial public offering of its Brazilian stake they company had contemplated, Repsol said. "With this new investment, Repsol Brasil is fully.....Read the entire article.

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