China makes bid for PetroKazakhstan

A joint venture between PetroChina and China National Petroleum Corp, its unlisted parent, offered to pay about US$3.2 billion (HK$24.9 billion) for Central Asian oil producer PetroKazakhstan, a source familiar with the situation said. That puts China's largest integrated oil firm in direct competition with India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp, that country's biggest energy firm. In conjunction with London-based steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, it offered US$3.5 billion for PetroKazakh, according to a source familiar with the situation. The company has a market value of US$3.3 billion, based on its closing share price Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. "One of our key strategies is to focus on oil and gas assets that are closer to home because of China's oil needs,'' a source at PetroChina said. "We plan to transport the oil through the China-Kakakhstan pipeline to our refinery in Dushanzi in Xinjiang in northwest China.''