Nigerian energy company Sunrise has offered $4.8 billion to buy a stake in Exxon Mobil's joint venture in the country, the Financial Times said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The company is aiming at a 29 percent stake in the venture -- with estimated reserves of 1.6 billion to 2 billion barrels and potential for more, in which Exxon holds a 40 percent stake and the rest by the Nigerian government, the paper said.
While the government is willing to part with a 19 percent stake in the venture, Sunrise is said to be attempting to gain an additional 10 percent from Exxon.
Exxon could not immediately be reached for comment, outside regular U.S. business hours.
Sunrise has previously acted as representative for CNOOC Ltd, China's no. 3 oil and gas producer, one of several Chinese companies engaged in discussions with Nigeria about Beijing's search for proven reserves.