China's dominant offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Group said Friday it planned to explore for coal in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
CNOOC Group, parent of Hong Kong and New York-listed CNOOC Ltd., said it had signed a preliminary agreement with the local government to explore the coal-rich region Tuesday.
"We signed a strategic framework agreement...we will explore for coal resources together," CNOOC Group spokesman Liu Junshan said.
China's sizzling economic growth, a worsening transport bottleneck and a crackdown on small coal mines have caused a national coal shortage, pushing coal prices sharply higher and raising costs for utilities and steelmakers across Asia.
(Shenzhen Daily July 12, 2004)