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CNPC, Sudan Sign Oil Refining, Asset Swap Agreement

Source: Bloomberg 11/20/2009, Location: Africa

China National Petroleum Corp., the nationís largest oil company, signed agreements with Sudan to expand a refinery in Khartoum and swap oil production assets.

CNPC will swap shareholding in Block 6 with Malaysiaís Petroliam Nasional Bhd.ís Block 5A in Sudan, the Beijing-based company and parent of PetroChina Co. said in a statement on its Web site, without giving details.

The state-run oil company boosted output from overseas fields including projects in Sudan and Ecuador to a record last year to meet rising domestic demand. Sudanís crude exports to China rose 13 percent to 8.6 million tons in the first nine months, becoming the sixth-largest supplier to the worldís second biggest oil consumer, according to Chinese customs.

CNPC increased production at Block 6, which produces heavy oil, in West Kordofan state in central Sudan, to 40,000 barrels a day, the Chinese company said in August 2006. The company operates seven oil production areas in Sudan. Petroliam, commonly known as Petronas, started production from Block 5A, 900 kilometers south of Khartoum, in June 2006.

The Khartoum refinery, in which CNPC and the Sudan government have equal stakes, has an annual oil processing capacity of 5 million metric tons, or 100,000 barrels a day, according to the statement.

Sudan plans to double the refineryís capacity to 200,000 barrels a day once the expansion is completed by 2011, Sudapet Co.ís Chief Executive Offcier Salah Wahbi said June 3. The refinery supplies more than 80 percent of fuel needs in Sudan.

CNPC and Sudan also signed an agreement on prepayment for crude supplies, the statement said without elaborating.

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