CAPE TOWN British and European Union regulators are expected to approve Sinopec Corp's (600028.SS) 49 percent acquisition of Talisman Energy TLM.TO by the end of the year, an official said on Thursday.
In a deal expected to help revitalize North Sea oil operations, Talisman, Canada's No. 6 oil and gas exploration company, said in July it will form a joint venture with China's top refiner to operate the assets, which produced 63,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in the first quarter of 2012.
"We were targeting for an earlier date than this and it's just the processes that take place between the department of energy and climate for the UK government and for the EU," said John Baillie, Senior Vice President of development and growth strategy at Addax Petroleum, itself acquired by Sinopec in 2009.
"Nobody on our side is foreseeing any problems, and so therefore things should go ahead and by year-end we should be in a position to say the deal is closed," Baillie said on the sidelines of an African oil conference organized by Global Pacific & Partners.
Earlier this month, Talisman said it would invest 1.6 billion pounds ($967 million) in one of its oldest oil platforms in Britain's North Sea, taking advantage of tax breaks aimed at boosting oil and gas output in the region.
($1 = 0.6207 British pounds)
(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)