Bloomberg News

Total Sells Colombian Production, Pipeline Assets to Sinochem

February 09, 2012

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Total SA, Europe’s third-biggest oil company, agreed to sell Colombian assets held by its TEPMA BV unit to Sinochem Group.

Combined with the earlier sale of stakes in the country’s Ocensa pipeline, the disposal will raise about $1 billion, Paris-based Total said in a statement yesterday.

The wholly-owned affiliate has a stake in the Cusiana field as well as shares in the OAM and ODC pipelines in Colombia. Total’s share of production from Cusiana is about 7,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, it said yesterday.

Chinese energy companies including Sinochem Group have bid for at least $21 billion of assets in Latin America since the start of 2010 to help supply the world’s second-biggest economy, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sinochem, based in Beijing, is China’s fourth-largest oil company and also has assets in agriculture and real estate, its website says.

Total Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie has carried out a series of acquisitions and sales over the past two years to acquire new reserves and disposed of refining and pipeline assets.

The deal follows the sale of 5 percent stakes in the Ocensa pipeline to Petrominerales Ltd. and Compania Espanola de Petroleos SA. No details were provided on the individual value of each of the agreements.

“Disposing of these mature assets and positions in transportation infrastructures is in line with our ongoing asset optimization strategy,” Olivier de Langavant, senior vice president of strategy business development for research and development at Total’s Exploration-Production unit, said in the statement. The company will focus on “exploration assets with a higher potential” in Colombia, he said.

Li Qiang, Sinochem Group’s Beijing-based spokesman, did not answer two calls to his mobile phone seeking comment.

--Editors: Stephen Cunningham, Will Kennedy

To contact the reporter on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at tpatel2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net


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