Roc Oil Evaluating Exploration Opportunities in China
Roc Oil reports that discussions are continuing with various government authorities and other interested parties, with regard the Company's projects and potential projects, in China.
The development of the Wei-12-8-West offshore oil field, in Block 22/12 in the Beibu Gulf, continues to be the subject of close collaboration between Roc Oil and the regional subsidiary of the China National Offshore Oil Company ("CNOOC"). In this regard, Roc Oil is acting as Operator of the Block 22/12 Joint Venture which also includes PetSec Energy Limited, Horizon Oil Limited and Oil Australia Pty Limited, a subsidiary of First Austral ian Resources. In this context, Roc Oil is finalizing an Overall Development Plan which will be submitted to the relevant government authorities by end July 2005 and which will then be subject to further detailed discussion prior to a final development decision being made prior to end October 2005. Planning is also continuing with regard to the drilling of at least one exploration well in Block 22/12 before end-2005, subject to a suitable rig being available.
With regard to potential new ventures in China, Roc Oil is continuing to evaluate opportunities both offshore and also onshore. The onshore opportunity is at Fushun, in Liaoning Province in northeastern China. Roc Oil has been in discussions with relevant parties about opportunities centerd on Fushun for more than four years. The Fushun Mining Group ("FMG") is the key player in a profitable and well established sub-sector of the Chinese energy industry based at Fushun which produces oil from shale rock. During the current visit to Australia by the Governor of Liaoning Province, which has a population of almost 50 million people, the Lord Mayor of Fushun and senior FMG executives, Roc Oil signed a Letter of Intent with FMG which is designed to progress further ROC's potential involvement with the oil business in this part of China.
Commenting on the progress of projects in China, Roc Oil's Chief Executive Officer, Dr John Doran, stated that:
"Roc Oil is one of the very few independent western oil companies actively operating in China. This is something that we have been doing continuously, in one form or another, since 1998 when China 's importance to the world economy was not as widely recognized as it is now. During the time Roc Oil has been involved in China we have learnt many lessons and never had a bad experience. One of the lessons we have learnt is that it is easy for western companies and their shareholders and other investors, to prematurely attach a high degree of importance to each of the various milestones that all China-based projects must pass before coming to fruition. During the last few working days Roc Oil has been very pleased to pass a couple more of these milestones en-route to what it hopes will be a number of profitable projects in China . However, in each case, a lot more work needs to be done before we reach the end of the individual project journeys."
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