China's top offshore oil company may list its base services arm
in Shanghai next year, its spokesman said yesterday.
"It's true that we are actively studying the option to reshuffle
and list our technical and personnel services unit on the stock
market, perhaps next year," Liu Junshan, spokesman for China
National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), told China Daily
The unit, which is known as CNOOC Oil Base Group, will go public
through an independent initial public offering rather than being
injected into CNOOC's other listed arms, Liu said.
"That's because the unit's focus is not closely related to our
core business, which is oil and gas exploration and production,"
CNOOC Oil Base, established in December 2004 with registered
capital of 3.78 billion yuan, provides technical, equipment, human
resource and logistics services.
The CNOOC spokesman refused to comment on future core businesses
for CNOOC Oil Base, which now offers 10 categories of services,
such as car rental, catering and communications.
"We'll keep our eyes open for other growth engines for the
services units. The future core businesses of the firm are still
subject to further study."
A source from CNOOC, who did not want to be named, told China
Daily yesterday that CNOOC is demanding its base services arm
reach the standard of mainland listing in terms of financial and
operational data by next year. And if the market circumstances
permit, there is a possibility for CNOOC to list the unit on the
mainland market then.
"Our eventual target is to turn the unit into something more
competitive, meeting listing standards," the source said.
CNOOC Oil Base, which accounts for 8 percent of CNOOC's total
assets, notched up annual sales of more than 11 billion yuan in
2006, up 49 percent year-on-year. Its profit amounted to 1.1
billion yuan, up 26 percent year-on-year.
"In view of the decent financial performance of the firm, we are
considering getting the unit listed," Liu said.
Liu Gu, an energy analyst with Guotai Jun'an Securities, said
that if managed well, there is a chance for CNOOC Oil Base to
surpass market expectations, though its core competence stems from
traditional business, which may face more intense competition in
The unit is expected to serve not only CNOOC and its affiliated
arms, but also clients and customers from a board market
environment, Liu said. That means CNOOC Oil Base will embrace more
business opportunities and at the same time face more
"We are well aware of the challenges and intense competition
that CNOOC Oil Base will face from these traditional business
segments. However, since the unit is open to more business avenues,
it will have new growth engines in the future," the CNOOC source
(China Daily October 24, 2007)