In Namibia, Chariot Oil & Gas (LON:CHAR) revealed the long anticipated results of their farm-out tender for certain blocks in their large offshore portfolio of assets. One deal involved Norwegian oil service company, Petroleum Geo Services ASA taking a 10% stake in two blocks in exchange for funding 50% of the forthcoming seismic programme. More importantly however was the deal that saw BP take a 25% interest in Block 2714A containing the Nimrod “mega structure” which Chariot believes could potentially hold 4.9 billion barrels of oil.  For Chariot Oil the farm out allies BP with existing farm in partner Petrobras, in what the company will see as the ideal operating team to progress the Nimrod block forward. Despite its Manaconda oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico BP is still a much respected deep water operator, whilst Petrobras brings a vast amount of experience within the geologically similar pre-salt assets offshore Brazil.

China Investment Corp and GDF Suez announced this week that they were entering into a major cooperation framework, which will aid GDF SUEZ in its planned expansion into Asia, in what GDF foresees as being a key growth market.  To kick the partnership off, CIC will take a 30% stake in the upstream division of GDF for $3.3 billion and a 10% in the Atlantic LNG project in Trinidad & Tobago for $850 million. The deal represents the largest by a Chinese state controlled company since Petrochina’s failed attempt to take a 50% interest in Encana’s Cutbank Ridge shale gas assets in Canada in February. At $12 per proved and probable boe of reserves, the deal didn’t include the usual premium that Chinese companies are willing to pay to secure global reserves. The annual EBITDA multiple of less that 5.5 also pointed more towards a deal that seeks long term cooperation rather than a Chinese asset grab.

Two diverse shale operators merged this week with Zaza Energy combining its Eagle Ford portfolio of assets with Toreador’s shale oil assets in the Paris Basin of France. The deal will come as a relief to many Toreador shareholders after a dramatic share price fall during 2011. At the start of the year, buoyed by the French laissez-faire attitude towards shale drilling, the market cap of Toreador stood at over $400 million. However following a ban on the practise of hydraulic fracturing…

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