August 6, 2019 / 12:37 AM / 15 days ago

UPDATE 1-CNOOC to take majority interest in West African petroleum licences

* CNOOC to get its stake from Svenska Petroleum

* Chinese firm can opt to become operator of the joint venture (Adds detail on CNOOC’s stake, Svenska’s ownership)

Aug 6 (Reuters) - Australian oil and gas explorer FAR Ltd , which holds a stake in licences for oil drilling off the coast of West Africa’s Guinea-Bissau, said a unit of China National Offshore Oil Corp will take a majority stake in the projects.

CNOOC will get a 55.6% stake in the Sinapa and Esperanca licences from Sweden’s Svenska Petroleum Exploration AB, whose interest will be reduced to 23.03%, FAR said in a statement on Tuesday. It did not disclose financial details.

The Chinese oil producer can opt to become the operator of the joint venture after an upcoming offshore drilling campaign is completed.

CNOOC’s interest will be converted to a 50% stake if there is a commercial discovery, FAR said.

FAR will continue to hold a 21.42% stake in each of the licences.

Svenska Petroleum Exploration GB is a unit of Petroswede AB, which is indirectly owned by Saudi Billionaire Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi.

Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Tait and Joseph Radford

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