China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec) has announced that it will form a joint venture (JV) to buy overseas oil and gas assets, worth $3bn, from its parent company, in oil and gas producing countries in Kazakhstan, Colombia and Russia.

The joint venture between Hong Kong-based Sinopec and parent firm China Petrochemical or Sinopec Group will be known as Sinopec International Petroleum E&P Hongkong Overseas, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The acquisitions are expected to place Sinopec at par with Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell and will allow it to develop its small scale upstream reserves that will support its network of refineries.

Sinopec estimates that its overseas proved reserves will expand by 359% to 330.2 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) from 72.0 million BOE as the end of 2012, following the transaction.

The company’s overseas production is also anticipated to rise by 171% to 58.7 million BOE in 2012 from 21.7 million BOE.

Sinopec currently has overseas assets only in an oilfield offshore Angola.