Report: Sinopek Offered To Buy Jubilee Stake

NEW YORK (Reuters) – China’s Sinopec has offered to make a joint bid with Ghana’s national oil company for Kosmos Energy’s stake in the huge Jubilee oilfield off the coast of the country, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Sinopec’s recent initial offer was rejected by state-run Ghana National Petroleum Corp (GNPC), the paper said, and the Ghanaian company is waiting to hear from all potential partners in the field before making a decision.

Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) agreed to buy the Jubilee stake from Kosmos in early October, Reuters reported, according to three sources close to the matter. Kosmos is backed by private equity groups Blackstone Group (BX.N) and Warburg Pincus.

But GNPC has said the sale is illegal. A GNPC source told Reuters earlier this month that that the firm is interested in buying Kosmos Energy’s stake itself, perhaps selling all or part of that stake later.

Moreover, a leading member of Ghana’s ruling party later confirmed that the government also does not approve of the Exxon deal.

The Journal also said that senior Exxon officials are traveling to Ghana on Monday to discuss the bid with government officials.

Sinopec, GNPC and Exxon declined to comment.

Kosmos owns the field with UK-based oil explorer Tullow Oil (TLW.L) and Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum (APC.N). It put its interest in the field on the market earlier this year. (Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Gary Hill)