Rome, Italy — 13 March 2013 – Latest news on the oil front is that the Chinese are planning to enter the oil and natural gas sector in Mozambique.

Italian oil and gas exploration giant ENI is negotiating with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for the sale of a stake in an oil block in Mozambique, where huge natural gas deposits have been found, reports Macauhub News Agency.

The talks have been underway for over six months and are for the sale of 20% of the 70% stake owned by the Italian group in the Area 4 block of the Rovuma basin, in northern Mozambique, adjacent to the Tanzanian border.

At the end of February the ENI group announced that it had found over 4 trillion cubic feet of gas in the block, in which its partners are Portuguese group Galp Energia, South Korea’s Kogas and Mozambican state oil and gas company, Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH) each with 10%.

The deal with the Chinese may be worth up to US$4 billion (the sale of the 8.5% stake owned by Irish company Cove Energy in a nearby block cost Thailand’s state company PTT a total of US$1.9 billion) and Bloomberg News has indicated that a listed company from the PetroChina may compete with CNPC to buy the 20% stake.

Source: Macauhub News Agency. For more information, click here.