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To acquire 50% stake in Argentinean JV, gaining 318 MMBOE proved.

CNOOC Ltd., Hong Kong, (NYSE: CEO) plans to acquire a 50% interest in Bridas Corp., a subsidiary of Argentina-based Bridas Energy Holdings Ltd., for approximately US$3.1 billion in cash.

Under the proposed agreement, CNOOC and Bridas Energy would each hold a 50% interest in the joint venture.

Through partial subsidiary Pan American Energy LLC, Bridas has assets in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.

CNOOC says the transaction will increase its proved reserves by 318 million barrels of oil equivalent and its average daily production by 46,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

The deal is subject to government and regulatory approval and is expected to close in first-half 2010.

CNOOC president Yang Hua says, "Bridas, with a world-class oil and gas asset portfolio, is a very good beachhead for us to enter Latin America. Through this transaction, we'll establish a fair presence in this region, which will further enable the company's production and reserve growth in the future."