China's CNPC seen tapping Exxon-Rosneft assets

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BEIJING. August 6. KAZINFORM China National Petroleum Corp. already spent more money this year on energy assets than any other global producer. Oil and gas fields controlled by Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Russia's OAO Rosneft may be next on the list.

China's largest oil producer, known as CNPC, has made more than $9 billion of purchases this year -- and has considered another $4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter -- as part of a plan to double overseas output by 2015. Spending will likely accelerate under Zhou Jiping, who was named chairman in April and has more than a decade of experience in international operations, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets said.

CNPC is ramping up deals to make up for lost ground after Sinopec Group and Cnooc Ltd., two other Chinese state-owned energy companies, outspent the producer by about $50 billion on overseas transactions in the five years through 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. CNPC's success with mature fields makes an Exxon asset in Iraq a target, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. said, while a supply agreement with Rosneft may lead to deals with the state-controlled Russian producer, according to UOB-Kay Hian Ltd, Kazinform refers to Bloomberg.

"CNPC's skill set makes it a good fit for many developed onshore oilfields in central Asia, the Middle East and South America," Neil Beveridge, a Hong Kong-based oil and gas analyst at Bernstein, said by phone. "CNPC's state-owned background is more of a bonus rather than a burden when it seeks acquisitions in those regions."

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