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CNOOC's focus not international
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CNOOC Ltd, China's biggest offshore oil producer, said overseas acquisitions won't be the main driver of future growth.

The company will rely on existing businesses as its growth engine while overseas asset purchases and takeovers are just one aspect of the overall strategy, Chairman Fu Chengyu said after the annual general meeting in Hong Kong yesterday.

CNOOC in 2005 failed in an $18.5 billion bid to buy Unocal Corp because of opposition by US lawmakers. The company is targeting the Caspian Sea, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region for future acquisitions, Chief Financial Officer Yang Hua said in November.

The oil producer is in talks with Talisman Energy Inc for an asset purchase or a takeover, the South China Morning Post reported this week. Fu declined to make any comment yesterday.

China National Offshore Oil Corp, parent of Hong Kong- listed CNOOC, last month signed an agreement to import 2 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas a year from Qatar under a 25-year contract, Fu said. The fuel will meet the needs of the eastern province of Zhejiang and other coastal areas, he said.

CNOOC will drill six deepwater wells in the second half of this year, Fu said. The company and partner Husky Energy Inc in June 2006 discovered a deepwater gas field in the Pearl River Delta that may prove to be China's largest offshore deposit of the fuel.

(China Daily via Agencies May 30, 2008)

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