HONG KONG Feb 14 Hong Kong-listed oil trader
and shipping firm Brightoil Petroleum Holdings has
held talks with U.S. oil companies Anadarko Petroleum Corp
and Newfield Exploration Co to buy their China
operations, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Brightoil has been searching for upstream investment
opportunities in China and overseas for several years. Trading
in its shares has been suspended since Feb. 11 pending an
announcement of a "very substantial acquisition".
A source close to Brightoil said the pending announcement
pertained to a major upstream transaction. It was not
immediately known whether the trading halt was related to the
talks held with Anadarko and Newfield. Brightoil declined to
Anadarko and Newfield did not reply to emails seeking
comment. The sources declined to be identified because the talks
Reuters reported in November that Anadarko was considering
the sale of its holdings in oil and gas projects in China worth
about $1 billion.
Houston-based Anadarko owns about a 35 percent interest in
production and development projects in China's Bohai Bay. It
also has a 50 percent interest in the South China Sea
Brightoil, which has a market value of $2.5 billion, is the
third-largest marine fuel supplier by volume in Singapore, which
is the largest bunkering port in the world.
Last year, the firm's trading and bunkering business added
crude oil, diesel and petrochemicals, expanding on its shipping
fuel trading roots.