(EnergyAsia, November 21 2012, Wednesday) — A subsidiary of China Petrochemical Corp, or Sinopec Group, has agreed to acquire a 20% stake in an offshore Nigerian field from French major Total SA (FP) for about US$2.5 billion, the two companies have announced.

The OML 138 block contains the Usan field which is on course to produce 140,000 b/d by year-end after starting up in February, said Total.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is the block’s concession holder. Its partners include Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. (30%), Esso E&P Nigeria (Offshore East) Ltd. (30%) and Nexen Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. (20%).

Sinopec Group is expected to gain access to about 36,000 b/d of light crude oil production with the expected completion of the transaction by end-2012 once it receives the approval of the Nigerian authorities.

Describing it as an alignment of its portfolio, Yves-Louis Darricarrère, Total’s upstream president, said:

“Usan accounts for less than 10% of the group’s equity production in Nigeria. This sale of an asset operated from a minority position will allow us to focus our resources on the material growth opportunities in Total’s portfolio.”

Total, which produced 287,000 b/d in Nigeria last year, aims to sell off up to US$20 billion in assets between 2012 and 2014.