FACTBOX-National oil companies work together
July 4 (Reuters) – Through a series of multi-million dollar deals, national oil companies have gained greater global status by working together, rather than turning to international oil majors.
In some cases the cooperation has been primarily political and is linked to the trend of resource nationalism, whereby resource-holders seek to retain the greatest share of their natural resources wealth.
Other cases are pragmatic, as national oil companies discover they can serve each other’s interests without relying on the commercial firms that have traditionally been regarded as essential sources of technical expertise.
China’s national oil companies have been particularly aggressive in pursuing opportunities to work with peers across the world as the nation seeks to cater for its huge energy needs.
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Below is a reverse chronological list of some of the deals and potential partnerships between national oil companies.
— 2 July 2007 – The presidents of Iran and Venezuela launched construction of a joint petrochemical plant in Iran, strengthening an “axis of unity” between two oil-rich nations staunchly opposed to the United States.
Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also signed a series of other deals to expand economic cooperation, including forming an oil company.
— 28 June 2007 – China’s state-owned Sinopec Group, parent of Asia’s top refiner Sinopec Corp (0386.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), has signed a memorandum of understanding to take a stake in a multi-billion-dollar project in Venezuela, Chinese media reported.
Sinopec will be the second Chinese state oil company, after China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), to participate in the Orinoco oil project.
— 19 June 2007 – The Vietnamese government has agreed to let its oil monopoly Petrovietnam establish joint ventures with Venezuela’s state oil group PDVSA to produce crude oil from Venezuela’s Junin 2 block.
— 12 June 2007 – Brazilian energy company Petrobras (PETR4.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) wants to get more involved in Mexico’s state-run energy sector, particularly in biofuels, said the company’s Mexico manager Milton Costa. Petrobras will build on an existing deal where it provides technological advice to Mexican state-owned oil monopoly Pemex.
— 10 June 2007 – State-owned oil conglomerate Saudi Aramco will soon reach a deal with China’s Sinopec Group, Asia’s top refiner, for partnership in an oil refinery in the Chinese city of Qingdao, a newspaper reported.
— 26 May 2007 – Iran has finalised technical issues with China’s Sinopec on developing its Yadavaran oil field but legal and economic details are still being negotiated.
— 26 May 2007 – Tunisia’s Energy Ministry awarded Qatar-state owned Qatar Petroleum Company a $2.0 billion refinery deal, ministry and company officials said. The Qatari company was selected by the Tunisian ministry to build, own, manage and run the refinery for at least 30 years.
— 1 May 2007 – Indonesian state oil firm, Pertamina, and two South Korean firms have signed a preliminary deal to explore jointly oil and gas blocks in the Southeast Asian nation, the president of Pertamina said.
— 30 March 2007 – Saudi Aramco, U.S. giant Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and China’s Sinopec will invest $5 billion in their refinery, petrochemicals and marketing joint venture, much more than originally planned. Production is expected to start in early 2009, the companies said in a joint statement.
— 7 March 2007 – Asia’s top refiner, Sinopec Group is hoping to finalise within the year a deal with Saudi state oil giant Saudi Aramco to run a second joint-venture refinery in China’s eastern Shandong province, a company executive said.
— 27 February 2007 – India’s state-run gas firm GAIL (India) Ltd. (GAIL.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) is in talks to buy a stake in Algerian exploration assets held by China’s Sinopec, but may fail if it drags its feet, company officials said. If the Algerian deal materialises, this will be GAIL’s first overseas participation with Sinopec.
— 21 September 2006 – Indian state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) (ONGC.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) and China’s Sinopec International jointly invested $850 million in Columbian oil assets with a production rate of 20,000 barrels per day.