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CNOOC reports pretax profit of 56.5 bln yuan in 2007
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China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), the country's No. 3 oil producer, said on Saturday that pretax profit jumped 17.5 percent year-on-year to 56.5 billion yuan (7.9 billion U.S. dollars) in 2007.

Revenue rose 32.5 percent to 160 billion yuan, boosted by high international crude oil prices, the oil giant said. Production climbed 0.2 percent to 40.46 million tons of oil equivalent.

Investment earnings from China's bullish stock market last year helped CNOOC's financial unit earn 3.4 billion yuan in profit. This provided 6.37 percent of CNOOC's pretax profit, compared with 1.3 percent in 2006.

Xiao Zongwei, head of the investor relations department of listed arm CNOOC Ltd., said that the company would increase investment in deepwater exploration this year.

Xiao said that the company had a good chance to discover large oil and gas reserves in the deepwater regions of the northern South China Sea as it has found in the region geological conditions similar to the major Liwan 3-1 natural gas field.

CNOOC Ltd. planned to explore on its own 140,000 of the 210,000 square kilometers of offshore China regions, where the waters were more than 300 meters deep. It would join with partners to explore the remaining 70,000 sq km, he said.

The listed unit said this past Tuesday that it would spend 1.04 billion U.S. dollars of the estimated 5.24 billion U.S. dollars in total capital expenditure on exploration this year. The total expenditure represented an increase of 43.7 percent from last year.

Xiao added that CNOOC had no specific date for the yuan-denominated A share listing on the mainland.

It was incorporated in Hong Kong in 1999 and listed in Hong Kong and New York in 2001.

(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2008)

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