Brightoil to Buy Anadarko Bohai Bay Assets for $1.08 Billion

Brightoil Petroleum Holdings Ltd. will buy oil and gas assets in China’s Bohai Bay from Anadarko Petroleum Corp. for $1.08 billion in its biggest deal ever. Brightoil shares surged.

The Hong Kong-based supplier of marine fuel will pay cash for Woodlands, Texas-based Anadarko’s entire 40 percent and 29 percent interests in the two offshore blocks, Brightoil said today in a statement.

The deal highlights Chairman and controlling shareholder Raymond Sit Kwong Lam’s push to diversify earnings, as about 98 percent of the company’s revenue comes from marine bunkering and sales of petroleum products. Sit said in September Brightoil will continue to grow its oil and gas exploration and production business, and sees it as a key growth driver.

“It’s a positive move for Brightoil as it finally managed to secure a quality upstream asset after years of trying,” said Shi Yan, an analyst at UOB-Kay Hian Ltd. in Shanghai. “The steady income from oil and production could immediately lift the company from over-reliance on bunker oil trading.”

Brightoil jumped 27 percent to HK$2.81 at the close of trade in Hong Kong, its biggest gain in at least five years. The stock resumed trading today after the shares were halted on Feb. 11 pending the release of an announcement relating to a “very substantial” acquisition, the company said that day.

Offshore Blocks

The two blocks in Bohai Bay, north east China, produced about 32,000 barrels of crude oil a day in 2013, Brightoil said. It will gain 40 percent of the offshore block of 04/36, which covers an area of 124 square kilometers, as part of the deal, the company said. Cnooc Ltd. and Singapore Petroleum Co. hold 51 percent and 9 percent respectively in the block. Cnooc is the operator.

Brightoil will also get a 29 percent stake in the area labeled as 05/36, which covers an area of 88 square kilometers, it said. Cnooc, Newfield Exploration Co. and Singapore Petroleum hold 51 percent, 12 percent and 8 percent respectively of that asset, Brightoil said.

“We believe that the acquisition will mark a major milestone in our business development,” Brightoil Chairman and founder Sit, who holds 75 percent of the stock, said in an e-mailed statement. “Building on a strong foundation in oil and gas exploration and production, the acquisition will help reinforce our overall strategy and facilitate its development as an integrated oil and gas company with sustainable revenue streams.”

Anadarko’s exploration block in the South China Sea is excluded from the deal, Brightoil said in the e-mailed statement.

Brightoil didn’t say how it will finance the deal, which needs shareholder and government approvals. The company reached a $4 billion strategic cooperation agreement with China Development Bank Corp. in January 2011 to support current business development and potential merger and acquisitions, it said today in the e-mailed statement.

BOCI Asia Ltd. is advising Brightoil.

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