Brazil's petroleum regulator the National Petroleum Agency has approved the purchase of a 10% interest by Chinese oil company Sinochem in five offshore blocks in the country.
Sinochem purchased the stakes from the local unit of Perenco, an Anglo-French oil and gas company, in January and the transaction was approved at the National Petroleum Agency's board meeting on 3 October. The deal expands the growing presence of Chinese companies in offshore oil and gas exploration in Brazil.
Sinochem previously acquired a 40% stake in Norwegian oil company Statoil's Peregrino field for $3.07bn. The company also acquired another 10% working stake in five blocks of the offshore Espirito Santos Basin in exchange for funding exploration-commitment wells.
UK-based Perenco retains a 40% operator stake in the blocks, with partner OGX Petroleo e Participacoes holding the remaining 50%.
Meanwhile, Sinopec, one of China's major petroleum companies, purchased a 30% stake in the Brazilian unit of Galp Energia for $5.19bn and a 40% share of the Brazilian subsidiary of Repsol YPF for $7.00bn.