Emirates National Oil pushes to take full control of Dragon Oil

EMIRATES National Oil (ENOC), which owns 53 per cent of Dubai-based Dragon Oil, is looking to buy the shares it does not already own, Dragon confirmed yesterday.

The shares leapt 12.5 per cent yesterday in London to close at 602p, and were 18 per cent ahead of their closing price on Friday of 509p, giving Dragon a market value of £2.96bn.

Dragon’s shares are also listed in Dublin. The bid was seen by some market observers as a sign that the beleaguered oil market may be approaching the bottom of its recent downturn, which has seen oil prices halve since last June.

It is the second time ENOC, which is wholly owned by the Dubai government, has made a bid for Dragon, the first coming back in 2009, when it offered 455p a share.

Dragon is active in the Turkmen­istan oil and gas sector. Recently it has sought to acquire other oil companies in an effort to expand its reach into other oil-producing regions, but has been unsuccessful.

Last year, it made an approach to Petroceltic, a London-listed Irish oil and gas exploration company with operations in North Africa and the Mediterranean region. However, it withdrew its bid on 1 December as the price of oil collapsed.

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