CNPC to Buy Stake in Eni Mozambique Assets for $4.2 Billion

China National Petroleum Corp., the country’s largest oil producer, will buy a 28.57 percent stake in Eni SpA (ENI)’s East Africa subsidiary for $4.2 billion.

The deal will give CNPC indirect ownership of 20 percent of Eni’s Mozambique assets, state-controlled CNPC said in a statement on its website today. Eni, Italy’s largest oil company, has discovered about 75 trillion cubic feet of gas in Mozambique’s Area 4, CNPC said.

The purchase will be the biggest deal involving an Asian company announced so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. China’s largest producers have bought African oil and gas fields in countries ranging from Nigeria to Uganda to feed energy demand in the world’s fastest growing major economy.

“It was only a matter of time before the Chinese showed up to take a stake in the Mozambique LNG projects,” Simon Powell, head of Asian oil and gas research at CLSA Ltd., said from Hong Kong. “East Africa is well positioned to serve Asian customers.”

Mozambique may have 250 trillion cubic feet of reserves, according to Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, the country’s state-backed energy company. ENH, Galp Energia SGPS and Korea Gas Corp. each own 10 percent of Area 4, according to today’s statement.

Mozambique’s offshore fields may hold enough gas to meet world consumption for more than two years, according to ENH. Eni and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the two companies leading exploration in Mozambique, agreed last year to build the world’s second-largest liquefied gas export plant to start sending fuel abroad in 2018.

PetroChina Co. (857), the listed unit of CNPC, fell 0.2 percent to HK$10.66 at the close today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Benjamin Haas in Hong Kong at bhaas7@bloomberg.net; Aibing Guo in Hong Kong at aguo10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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