Top Chinese energy firms have mandated investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to act as advisors for multi-billion dollar deals transferring key oil and gas pipeline assets into a national energy infrastructure giant, four sources said.
Overseen by a government vice premier, underlining the project's importance for Beijing, Beijing aims to complete the asset transfers and start operation of the new entity - valued by industry analysts at more than $40 billion - by the end of September, oil industry officials said.
"The timetable is a moving target but the goal was to complete the (asset) merger by end of July," one person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The mandates come after China announced in late 2019 that it would establish an entity known as National Oil and Gas Pipeline Company by combining pipelines, storage facilities and natural gas receiving terminals operated by China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec Group) and China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC).
The new entity - also known as PipeChina - was conceived by Beijing as a means to provide oil and gas producers neutral access to energy infrastructure, and in so doing boost non-state investment in exploration of oil and gas.