CNPC says buys Marathon's Angola oil fields for $1.52 bln

SHANGHAI, June 22 Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:52am EDT

SHANGHAI, June 22 (Reuters) - China National Petroleum Corp has agreed to buy Marathon Oil Corp's Angolan offshore oil and gas field for $1.52 billion, the country's top oil and gas producer said, marking its second major acquisition in Africa.

Sonangal Sinopec International Ltd, a wholly-owned unit of CNPC, will acquire Houston-based Marathon's 10 percent stake on the Angolan field called Block 31, it said in a statement late on Friday.

CNPC, the parent of listed company PetroChina Co Ltd , has been on an aggressive hunt for overseas assets to bulk up China's energy reserves to meet future demand from the world's second-largest economy.

It agreed in March to buy a $4.2-billion stake in a Mozambique offshore natural gas field and on Friday agreed to buy a 20 percent stake in Novatek's $20-billion Yamal-LNG project in northwest Siberia.

The Angolan Block 31 field, operated by BP, has estimated proved and probable reserves of 533 million barrels, CNPC said, adding that it would hold a stake of 15 percent in the block when the transaction was completed.

The $1.52 billion due to be paid by CNPC is part of a $3-billion asset disposal target set by Marathon in 2011 to shore up its balance sheet to fund further exploration and development projects.

The deal is subject to approval by the Chinese and Angolan governments.

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