The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control over the Angolan company Angola LNG by BP of the UK, Chevron Global Energy of the US, Eni of Italy, Sonangol of Angola and Total of France.
The joint venture will be active in the production of LNG in Angola and the worldwide supply of LNG. The Commission found that the transaction would not raise competition concerns because of the joint venture’s moderate anticipated market share, the presence of a number of credible competitors in the market concerned and competitors’ unchanged ability to access re-gasification terminals.
The joint venture would transform natural gas, obtained as a by-product from oil production and transported along pipelines to its liquefaction plant in Angola, into LNG. The LNG would then be sold to customers around the world for re-gasification.
The parties’ activities overlap in the market for the wholesale supply of LNG in the EEA. Given the JV’s moderate anticipated market share and the presence of a number of credible competitors, the Commission found that the joint venture and its parent companies will continue to face sufficient competitive constraints on the market for the wholesale supply of LNG. Although three of the parent companies (Total, Eni and BP) hold capacity rights in re-gasification terminals in the European Economic Area (EEA), they will not be able to shut out third parties from accessing them because EU law ensures third party access to gas import infrastructures, including re-gasification terminals. Thus, the creation of the joint venture does not lead to any change as regards competitors’ ability to access gas import infrastructures.
The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.
LNG World News Staff, May 16, 2012; Image: Bechtel