Sinopec Eyes Addax Buy

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (SNP), or Sinopec Corp., is considering buying Addax Petroleum Corp. (AXC.T) from its parent, as part of its effort to expand outside China, Chairman Su Shulin said in a press conference Monday.

Su said Sinopec Corp., the biggest refiner in Asia by capacity, has set up a unit to review overseas acquisition opportunities - including assets in Angola, Russia, Kazakhstan and Australia now held by its parent, China Petrochemical Corp.

"We are studying assets which are already in production, and those which are still in exploration. We are also interested in buying companies," Su said.

The company is also in talks to buy liquefied natural gas from the ExxonMobil-led (XOM) LNG project in Papua New Guinea, he said without elaborating.

Beijing-based Sinopec Corp. said earlier Monday it is actively seeking overseas investments in oil and gas resources as part of a three-year plan ending Dec. 31, 2011, to boost crude oil and natural gas production.

Next year's capital expenditure will likely be similar to this year's CNY120 billion, with most of the money to be spent on upstream exploration, Su said.

Chief Financial Officer Wang Xinhua said at the same conference he expects international crude oil prices to hover between $65 and $75 a barrel in the second half.

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