1 February 2013

Nigeria: Sinopec Eyes Acquisition of Afren's U.S.$1 Billion Assets

China Petrochemical Corporation, Sinopec, has announced plans to acquire Afren Plc's assets valued at N157 billion ($1 billion) in Nigeria and other part of the globe.

According to a source who asked not to be named, Sinopec Group is interested in Afren's asset including those in Nigeria.

The value of Afren's assets in Nigeria as at the end of 2011 stood at $1.8 billion (N282.6 billion).

The company recorded 92 per cent of its $597 million turnover in Nigeria in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Afren said its revenue more than doubled to about $1.5 billion (N235.5 billion) last year after production soared to 42,830 barrels of oil equivalent a day..

The company is projecting an increase in its production capacity to about 47,000 barrels a day this year, excluding Iraqi output.

Afren, a key player in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, also operates in the Kurdistan region of Iraq as well as other parts of Africa. The company said in November that it has been approached to sell stakes in its assets, without elaborating on the identity of the potential buyers.

Seeking to meet demand in the world's second-largest economy, China's state-backed firms bought a record $29 billion of energy assets abroad last year.

Sinopec Group agreed to buy a 20 per cent stake in an offshore Nigerian field from French explorer Total SA for about $2.5 billion in November.

Lv Dapeng, Sinopec Group's spokesman, did not answer calls to his office seeking comment. An Afren official declined to comment.

With Agency Report

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