Argentine energy firm CGC buys local unit of China's Sinopec

By Agustin Geist

BUENOS AIRES, June 30 (Reuters) - Argentine energy firm Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC) said on Wednesday it had acquired the local operation of China's Sinopec Group, helping it increase its production to over 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

CGC, part of Corporacion America International, said it would buy Sinopec Argentina, without giving details on the size of the deal. The Chinese-owned unit operates over 20 oilfields in the San Jorge and Cuyo Basins in Argentina with assets covering some 4,600 square kilometers.

Sinopec Argentina also has a stake in Termap, the operator of the Caleta Olivia (Santa Cruz province) and Caleta Córdova (Chubut) port terminals.

"We are convinced of the enormous and diverse potential that the geology of our country offers, not only in shale but especially in tight and conventional areas," CGC chief executive Hugo Eurnekian said in a statement.

"This step we are taking is proof of this."

One market source said that Sinopec's Argentina assets were worth an estimated $250 million. The parent of Sinopec in 2009 had bought the oil and gas assets of U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum in Argentina for $2.45 billion.

CGC said that since it was acquired by Corporación América in 2013, the firm had invested over $1.5 billion in the development of energy in Argentina.

Argentine financial group Sociedad Comercial del Plata COME.BA owns an important minority stake in CGC.

(Reporting by Agustín Geist; Additional reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Nick Zieminski)

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