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Aramco, CNOOC in Talks for $2.2 bln Frac Tech Stake

Source: Reuters 12/14/2011, Location: Middle East

Middle East and Chinese oil companies Saudi Aramco, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) and CNOOC Ltd are in talks to buy an up to 30 percent stake in North American oil and gas services company Frac Tech International in a deal worth about $2.2 billion, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Frac Tech has hired a bank to advise on the deal, the sources told Reuters, declining to be named because the discussions were private.

They added that Frac Tech was also in advanced talks with Saudi Aramco, Repsol-YPF SA and Sinopec to establish three separate fracking joint ventures in the Middle East, Argentina and China.

Frac Tech, which helps exploration and production companies perform "frac" jobs and also produces equipment and materials, is also in early talks with three or four parties in Poland to establish a similar joint venture.

The company planned to close the deals by the end of February, the sources said, ahead of a planned initial public offering targeted to raise about $1.15 billion.

Sinopec and CNOOC declined to comment.

Other companies mentioned in this report either declined comment or could not be immediately reached.

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