China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), the world’s biggest refiner, is weighing a takeover of beleaguered Kurdish oil producer Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd., Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
The state-owned oil giant is working with advisers and has made an approach to Gulf Keystone.
The company may also attract other bidders. No final decisions have been made and any talks may not lead to a deal, the report said.
Gulf Keystone, which operates in the Kurdish region of Iraq, was taken over by creditors in September after missing a bond payment and was forced to restructure its debt.
The company has struggled with a drop in the value of crude and has also had difficulties extracting payments from the Kurdish regional government amid its war with Islamic State.
Sinopec is weighing buying overseas assets and stakes in projects again after shutting production at older, high-cost fields to help the company weather the collapse in oil prices, chairman Wang Yupu said in August.
The Chinese company has an existing presence in Kurdistan through its 2009 acquisition of Addax Petroleum Corp. Addax operates the Taq Taq field in Iraq in partnership with Genel Energy Plc.
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