Sinopec in talks to buy assets over $1 bn from British oil explorer Afren: report

Chinaq's largest refiner China Petrochemical Corp, known as Sinopec, is in talks to buy assets worth over $1 billion from Africa- and Kurdistan-focussed oil exploration and production company Afren Plc, Bloomberg reported over the weekend, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Without identifying the buyer, the London-based Afren had said in November 2012 that it has been approached to sell stakes in its assets.

Sinopec is interested in Afren assets, including those in Nigeria, the report said.

The London Stock Exchange-listed explorer has 28 assets in 12 countries, including producing assets in offshore Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire and holds interests in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, the Joint Development Zone of Nigeria -São Tomé & Príncipe, Kenya, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Seychelles, Tanzania and South Africa.

Net production in 2012 was approximately 42,830 British oila equivalent per day (boepd), and the company expects net production in 2013 to be between 40,000 to 47,000 boepd excluding the output from Kurdistan.

Afren had $1.8 billion of assets in Nigeria at end of 2011, and generated 92 per cent of its $597 million in sales there for that year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.