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Korea National Oil: Part Of Group Acquiring El Paso Oil Assets

SEOUL -(Dow Jones)- State-run Korea National Oil Corp. said Wednesday that it is part of the group that is paying $7.15 billion to acquire El Paso Corp.'s (EP) exploration-and-production business. The involvement of KNOC wasn't revealed when the acquisition by a group of investors led by Apollo Global Management LLC. was announced last month. The statement by KNOC didn't specify the size of the stake that KNOC will own or how much it's investing in the deal, which is expected to close at the end of June. The exploration-and-production business affiliate, known as EP Energy, are spread throughout the U.S. and include fields in Egypt and the deep waters off Brazil. By acquiring a stake in EP Energy, KNOC will enhance its attempts to help South Korea meet its own energy demands. El Paso planned last year to spin off EP Energy as a separate public company. But in November, before it separated the unit from its pipeline business, Houston-based El Paso agreed to be acquired by Kinder Morgan Inc. for $21.1 billion. Kinder Morgan said at the onset that it would sell the exploration and production business, aiming to close the deal around the time its merger is completed. - By Min-Jeong Lee, Dow Jones Newswires; 822-3700-1908; min-jeong.lee@dowjones.com

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