PetroChina to buy 45.5 per cent stake in SPC for $1 billion

PetroChina, the world's second-most valuable oil and gas company after Exxon Mobil Corp yesterday said it was buying a 45.5-per cent stake in oil refiner Singapore Petroleum Company (SPC) for S$1.47 billion ($1.02 billion).

The agreement was signed between PetroChina's indirectly wholly owned subsidiary, PetroChina International (Singapore) Pte Ltd, and Keppel Oil and Gas Services Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Keppel Corporation Limited, which is part-owned by Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd.

PetroChina, the most profitable company in Asia said in a statement, ''After PetroChina International (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. purchases the stake in SPC, SPC will become a new platform for the implementation of our international strategy and will provide a broader foundation and stable path for development.

The acquisition is likely to become ''a new platform for the implementation of our international strategy and will provide a broader foundation and stable path for development,'' PetroChina said in a statement.

The agreement signals China's continued interest in extending its reach into global natural resources at a time when many resources companies are desperate for cash.

This will be China's first major offshore purchase of a downstream energy company, when price of oil has come crashing down to approximately $60 a barrel from July's high of $147 a barrel.