Chevron's $1 Billion Sale of China Oil Fields Stalls

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  • Offers for stakes in three fields didn’t meet expectations
  • Bohai Bay assets drew interest from AAG, Brightoil, Meidu

Chevron Corp.’s sale of its stakes in Chinese offshore oil fields operated by state-owned CNOOC Ltd. has stalled, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Bids that Chevron received for its interests in three fields in China’s Bohai Bay didn’t meet its expectations, according to the people. Chevron had aimed to sell the assets for as much as $1 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. 

The U.S. oil and gas explorer is considering keeping the Bohai Bay holdings for now, the people said. The assets had drawn interest from Chinese suitors including AAG Energy Holdings Ltd., Brightoil Petroleum Holdings Ltd. and Shanghai-traded Meidu Energy Corp., according to the people.

Oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc have been looking to shed overseas assets to focus on their home markets. Chevron, based in San Ramon, California, has said it wants to raise as much as $10 billion from asset sales this year and it agreed in December to sell Asian geothermal assets to Ayala Corp. Shell is considering a sale of its stake in a Malaysian liquefied natural gas export plant, people familiar with the matter said last year.

Chevron owns a 24.5 percent working interest in the QHD32-6 field, as well as a 16.2 percent each in the Bozhong 25-1 and Bozhong 19-4 fields, according to its website. CNOOC holds the remaining stake in each field and is the operator.

There’s still a chance a buyer could emerge for the assets, the people said. Representatives for Chevron and Brightoil declined to comment. A representative for Meidu said he couldn’t immediately comment, while AAG didn’t respond to an email and phone calls seeking comment.