CNOOC Ltd. plans to drill four to six wildcat wells in the Xihu Tough in the East China Sea early in 2002. CNOOC Ltd. will inject US$200 million into exploration in the East China Sea next year, as part of a total budget of US$1.5 billion. CNOOC Ltd. will be the operator for wildcat well drillings at Xihu. The company's parent, China National Offshore Oil Corp., holds a 50% interest in the Xihu Trough. CNOOC Ltd. has agreed to buy the stake from its parent for US$45 million.
CNOOC and Sinopec Corp., which will hold the remaining stakes, are in talks with Shell and Unocal Corp. to form a joint venture to jointly engage in oil and gas exploration and production in the East China Sea.