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CNOOC Expects 19% Growth in Oil Production

The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) expects to put nine newly-developed offshore oil projects into operation this year, targeting a 19 percent increase in crude production from 2004.

According to CNOOC President Fu Chengyu, some 16 offshore oil projects are expected to begin operation between 2005 and 2006, nine of which are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

CNOOC's investment in offshore oil development projects is budgeted at about 2.2 billion US dollars this year, a 33 percent increase from 2004, and the exploration budget is expected to hit 260 million US dollars, Fu said.

The offshore oil giant is planning to explore mainly in new offshore areas as well as in deep-water blocks for more potential reserves.

Fu said CNOOC's projected net offshore oil production this year is about 141 to 146 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), a 19 percent increase over the 118 to 123 million BOE in 2004.

He also said the company's Indonesian unit is expected to gain a net entitlement volume of about 19 million BOE.

Yang Hua, the company's CEO, said CNOOC will "strive to maintain a competitive cost structure" and "take all necessary measures to ease upward pressure."

CNOOC will further implement its aggressive gas development strategy this year, Fu said, adding that it will maintain the status of leading gas supplier in the country's coastal areas and play a major role in the country's LNG import.

In 2004, the corporation completed the purchasing of a continental shelf gas project in Australia and increased its share holding in a gas project in Indonesia.

(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2005)

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