Sinopec, Talisman reach deal


CHINA Petrochemical Corp, the nation's biggest refiner, has agreed to spend US$1.5 billion for a 49 percent stake in Talisman Energy Inc's UK unit, gaining access to oil and natural-gas fields in the North Sea.

Sinopec Group, as the Beijing-based company is known, will get interests in 51 fields covering about 1,800 square kilometers, according to an e-mailed statement yesterday.

"It's part of Sinopec Group's effort to diversify its long-term production growth potential," said Gordon Kwan, Hong Kong-based head of regional energy research at Mirae Asset Securities.

The sale will help Talisman, based in Calgary, Canada, cut its capital spending in the UK by about half, "allowing us to focus on and fund growth areas within our portfolio," Chief Executive Officer John Manzoni said in a separate statement.

The deal, subject to government and regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of this year.

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