Blackstone in windfall from oil field stake

BLACKSTONE shares rose by more than 4.5 per cent yesterday as the firm came in line for a giant windfall, after energy giant Exxon Mobil agreed to buy a stake in an oil field the private equity firm jointly controls. <br /><br />Exxon has snapped up a large interest in the Jubilee field in Ghana, which is run by a firm called Kosmos Energy which is controlled jointly by Blackstone and Warburg Pincus.<br /><br />The sale price of the oil field interest is undisclosed. <br /><br />Analysts have put widely varying valuations on the field itself &ndash; some said yesterday it could be worth over $10bn (&pound;6.3bn), but one industry source said a figure of $4bn was more likely.<br /><br />Kosmos put its 18 per cent interest in the Deepwater Tano oil field block, in which Jubilee is located, on the market earlier this year<br /><br />Blackstone is known to have invested $220.1m in Kosmos in March 2004 in its fourth buyout fund BCP IV. That investment was valued at a giant $602m as at the end of 2008.<br /><br />Shares of Kosmos&rsquo;s partners in the oil field, UK-based explorer Tullow Oil and US-based Anadarko Petroleum, also jumped on the news amid hopes that when the sale price comes to light it will suggest the field had been previously undervalued. <br /><br />&ldquo;The field could be worth $6 a share to Anadarko. That&rsquo;s not reflected in the share price,&rdquo; said one hedge fund manager.<br /><br />Anadarko shares traded up 4.8 per cent in afternoon trading, while Tullow Oil shares traded up 7.7 per cent. <br /><br />The Jubilee field is one of the biggest oil discoveries in recent years and a discovery by Tullow and Anadarko off the shores of Sierra Leone last month prompted hopes of a series of major fields running across Ghana, Ivory Coast and Liberia.<br />