(EnergyAsia, July 11 2012, Wednesday) — Oilfield services giant Schlumberger has acquired 423,361,944 shares of Antonoil Oilfield Services Group, representing a 20.1% stake in the Hong Kong-listed company which has a market-leading position in China.

The transaction represents a winning deal for both companies, and an important milestone in the Chinese oilfield services industry.

International oilfield services companies are eyeing expansion in China’s oil and gas industry, while Chinese companies need Western expertise and technology to improve their competitiveness.

With revenue approaching US$40 billion last year, US-based Schlumberger is the world’s leading oilfield services company supplying technology, information and integrated project management to optimise reservoir performance the oil and gas industry.

In 2010, Antonoil entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Schlumberger that included cooperation in drilling fluids and well-cementing services. The successful conclusion of two years of fruitful collaboration has led Schlumberger to become a minority shareholder of Antonoil, paving the way for a closer partnership between the two companies to tap the extensive opportunities in the Chinese market.

According to Antonoil, Schlumberger will not be involved in its management and that it will continue to operate independently and develop its business.

Beijing-headquartered Antonoil, which has its international headquarters in Dubai to oversee operations in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and Americas, said it will also continue to collaborate with other global players.

Luo Lin, Antonoil’s chairman, said: “Antonoil welcomes Schlumberger as a minority shareholder. This represents the importance of the China market to international oilfield services companies and a strong recognition of Antonoil.

“The partnership will have a positive impact on China’s oilfield services industry and promote technological advancement in the local market which will ultimately benefit our customers. Antonoil hopes the investment by Schlumberger will have the understanding and support of all stakeholders.”