PetroChina eyes 2 European refineries

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PetroChina said Monday it has agreed to invest in two refineries in Europe owned by private British firm INEOS Group Holdings Plc as a major step of its global strategy.

PetroChina said it plans to set up a joint venture through its wholly-owned subsidiary PetroChina International Co to run INEOS's Grangemouth refinery in Scotland and Lavera refinery in southern France, according to a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

PetroChina International Co signed the agreement with INEOS European Holdings Ltd and INEOS Investments International Ltd, both wholly-owned unit of INEOS.

PetroChina didn't disclose the value of the deal or the stake it will take in the joint venture.

Industry sources said last year the offer for Grangemouth was about US$6 billion-US$7 billion, Reuters reported yesterday.

It will be PetroChina's third overseas refinery deal after investing US$2 billion in Singapore and Japan.

The proposed joint venture is set to be set up in the first half this year and will also engage in oil trading.

"PetroChina will inject capital in INEOS and setting up the joint venture will be very meaningful for the company to establish a broader business platform in Europe," it said in the statement.

Both the two refineries have a processing capacity of about 200,000 barrels a day.

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