CNPC close to buying Petrobras' Peruvian assets for over $2 bn

China's largest oil producer, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), is close to buying Brazilian state-owned oil giant Petrobras' assets in Peru, for over $2 billion, Bloomberg yesterday reported, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

PetrobrasThe proposed deal may be announced as soon as next month, the report said.

Petrobras, the world's 12th largest oil and gas producer, which entered Peru in 1996, produces about 16,000 barrels a day in the country and holds stakes in exploration assets in the Maranon, Huallaga and Madre de Dios basins.

It holds stakes in four onshore blocks - three in explorations and one in production. The company produces in Peru in Block X, a field located in the District of El Alto, Talara basin, northwestern Peru.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company holds 100 per cent interest in Lot 58 field and a 46.16 per cent stake in Lot 57.

The proposed sale is part of the company's plan to sell non-core assets worth around $14.8 billion in order to fund its massive $236 billion oil exploration and expansion plan spread over five-years, which could allow it to overtake the output of all OPEC members except Saudi Arabia.

It is also the most indebted publicly traded company in Brazil.

It was recently forced to reduce its asset sale target to $9.9 billion after it failed to get good offers for its Gulf of Mexico assets, where it was expecting around $4 billion.

It has now hired Standard Chartered to run an auction for its interests in Nigerian offshore oil fields, a sale that may fetch it up to $5 billion.

It is now in advance talks to sell stakes in its refineries and other assets in Argentina to local company Oil Combustibles, for $400 million.

It sold 50 per cent of its African operations in June to Brazilian investment banking firm Banco BTG Pactual SA for $1.53 billion and last month agreed to sell oil blocks and pipelines in Colombia to Perenco UK Ltd. for $380 million.

CNPC, the most acquisitive Chinese oil company, has conducted a series of purchases this year in order to secure energy security for its rapidly growing economy.

It acquired a 20-per cent stake in March in Italian oil and gas major Eni SpA's Mozambique natural gas field for around $4.2 billion and followed it up three months later by splurging $1.52 billion to buy Marathon Oil Corp's stake in Angolan offshore oil and gas field.

In July, it paid $5 billion for ConocoPhillips' 8.33-per cent stake in the giant Kashagan oilfield in the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan.