EC gives oil majors the green light to take joint control of Angola LNG

The European Commission said on Wednesday it had given its consent to the deal by oil and gas companies BP plc (LON:BP) in the UK, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) in the US, Italian Eni SpA (BIT:ENI), French Total SA (EPA:TOT) and Angolan Sonangol to take joint control of liquefied natural gas producer and supplier Angola LNG Ltd.

The regulator said it had found no competition concerns regarding the deal as the joint venture is anticipated to have a moderate market share, leaving room for a number of credible competitors in the market of interest for the EC whose ability to access re-gasification terminals will not be changed.

The JV would transform natural gas into LNG which it would then sell to clients around the world for re-gasification.

It would use natural gas obtained as a by-product from oil production and transported along pipelines to its liquefaction plant in Angola.

Although Total, Eni and BP hold capacity rights in re-gasification terminals in the European Economic Area, third party access to these terminals is ensured under the European Union (EU) law, the EC said, adding that the JV deal would not result in any changes in the competitors’ ability to access gas import infrastructures.

Based on all these findings, the EC concluded that competition in Europe will not be affected by the transaction, it said.

According to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in 2007, Chevron would have 36.4% in the JV, Sonangol would hold 22.8%, Eni 13.6%, Total 13.6%, and BP 13.6%.