Thirteen banks grant 1.4 billion euros to finance SSI offer for Angolan oil blocs 17 and 18

12 May 2006

New York, United States, 12 May – A consortium of 13 banks is financing the offer made by Sonangol Sinopec International (SSI) for Angolan oil blocs 17 and 18, in the amount of 1.4 billion euros, or around two thirds of the total proposal, Bloomberg reported.

The consortium, according to Bloomberg, includes five Chinese banks, namely, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Exim Bank, the latter being the financer behind a US$2 billion credit line for Angola.

Financers also include Bayerische Landesbank, BNP Paribas, Calyon, ING Groep, KBC Groep, Natexis, Banques Populaires, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered.

SSI, which is a joint venture between Sinopec (55 percent) and Angolan state oil company Sonangol (45 percent), offered a signing bonus of US$1.1 billion for each of blocs 17 and 18 in Angola’ offshore area, as well as US$200 million euros for “social projects.”

If they are selected these proposals would be new world records, surpassing the US$902 million that recently gave victory to Italy’s Eni in an international tender for Angola’s bloc 15.

Meanwhile, according to International Oil Daily, SSI has succeeded in acquiring a 20 percent stake in this exploration bloc.

Bloc 15 is expected to produce 200,000 barrels of oil per day when production begins next year.

This year Angola overtook Saudi Arabia to become China’s main oil supplier.

As well as investing in exploration, Sinopec and Sonangol are currently concluding the project for the Lobito oil refinery, which requires investment of some US$3 billion.

The agreement between the promoters outlines that Sonangol will have a 70 percent stake in the project, with remaining capital in the hands of Sinopec, although consortium representatives have already said there may be a possibility for other partners to take part.

The refinery, Angola’s second, will begin to be built before the end of 2007 and should have a total capacity of around 240,000 barrels per day. (macauhub)