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CNOOC Invites Foreign Firms in South China Sea Projects
Hong Kong listed firm CNOOC Ltd said on Monday that its parent, China National Offshore Oil Corp., is inviting foreign companies to bid for exploration and development in the South China Sea.

China's largest offshore oil and gas producer said the bid is for 12 virgin deepwater oil and gas areas in the South China Sea.

It is the first time the company offered blocks 300 meters under water to foreign companies for exploration, which is more complicated and risky.

"Exploration in this area will help tap the unexploited potential in offshore oil in China. We welcome experienced companies with strong track records in deepwater exploration to partner with us in the exploration work," CNOOC executive vice-president Ru Ke said in a statement.

The area covers a total of 76,000 square kilometers with water depths from 300 to 2,000 meters.

No meaningful exploration work has been done in these deepwater blocks so far, the statement said.

CNOOC will own all working interests caused by the exploration and development activities, it said.

Earlier this month, CNOOC reported a new gas discovery in the PY34-1 area in the Pearl River mouth basin of the eastern South China Sea.

(People’s Daily September 24, 2002)

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