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Sinopec Group Said to Explore Bid for Maurel & Prom

China Petrochemical Corp., the nation’s biggest refiner, is considering an acquisition of French oil explorer Etablissements Maurel & Prom, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

China Petrochemical, also known as Sinopec Group, has held informal discussions with Maurel in the past year though hurdles to a deal remain, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations are private. A deal could value Maurel at more than $2 billion, the people said. Maurel shares rose the most in four months in Paris today.