Home | News    Friday 10 June 2005

PetroChina has pre-emptive right over Sudan oil assets

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HONG KONG, June 10, 2005 (Platts) — Chinese integrated oil giant PetroChina has pre-emptive right to acquire upstream assets held by its parent, state-owned China National Petroleum Corp, in Sudan, the company’s chief financial officer Wang Guoliang said Friday.

In a media briefing Friday announcing the company’s agreement with CNPC to buy the latter’s overseas oil and gas assets under a newly formed joint venture, Wang said both companies agreed not to include the Sudanese upstream assets in their deal after studying this possibility for some time because of the "sensitive" nature of the matter.

However, "we have also agreed that PetroChina will have the pre-emptive rights to acquire the Sudan assets from CNPC" once the political upheavel in Sudan is resolved, Wang said.

Sudan’s Khartoum government is accused of quelling rebels in the Darfur region with a scorched-earth counter-insurgency campaign using Arab militia as its proxies.

The Darfur crisis erupted in 2003 when rebels took up arms because of what they considered years of state neglect and discrimination against Sudanese of African origin. At least 180,000 people have died-many from hunger and disease-and about 2-mil others have fled their homes.

Sudan is CNPC’s key overseas upstream investment region. Production of the Nile Blend crude from the Heglig and Unity fields of Blocks 1, 2 and 4 in Sudan’s southern Muglad Basin reached 15.74-mil mt last year, up 11.08% or 1.57-mil mt from 14.17-mil mt in 2003.

CNPC has a 40% interest in this project, which translates to 6.29-mil mt of equity crude output interest. Production of the 600,000 mt/year first phase of the Fula field in Block 6 began in March 2004. Accumlated crude output of Fula reached 3.07-mil bbl (420,548mt) by end-2004.

CNPC controls exploration and development rights of Block 6. CNPC also has a 41% stake in a international consortium exploring and developing Block 3 and Block 7 of the Melut Basin oil development project in Sudan.

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