Chinese jeweler to buy Houston oil and gas firm

HOUSTON — A Chinese jewelry maker announced Monday it has reached a deal to buy Houston oil and gas producer ERG Resources for a minimum $665 million.

Goldleaf Jewelry said it could raise up to $938 million from its investors to pay for the oil producer. It would own 95 percent of ERG Resources after the deal closes, according to a filing with Chinese securities regulators.

Houston-based ERG Resources, a private oil company with onshore assets on the Gulf Coast and in California, will not comment on the deal other than to confirm it, Chief Financial Officer Kelly Plato said Monday.

“We look forward to partnering with them,” Plato said.

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The Chinese gold miner also sells earings, necklaces and other jewelry at its retail spots.

Plato also would not disclose other details about the company’s oil and gas assets. In its most recent deal — two years ago — ERG sold 14 producing oil fields in Texas and Louisiana to Australian coal gasification company Linc Energy.

China’s interest in North American oil and gas shifted from acquiring land to developing investments last year.

But Chinese state-owed oil companies still led the $250 billion global energy deal market with big field purchases in the Caspian Sea, North America and Africa in 2013, according to Ernst & Young.


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