CNOOC Taps Fuel Oil Market

CNOOC Ltd. is considering selling its new crude oil from the offshore Qinghuangdao (QHD) 32-6 field in the Bohai Bay as burning fuel. Output at QHD 32-6, operated by CNOOC with 51 percent and the remainder jointly held by ChevronTexaco and BP. Production is expected to peak at 65,000 barrels per day when development is completed in the second half of 2002.

The field pumped first oil last October and is currently producing at 29,000 bpd, according to ChevronTexaco.

"Most Bohai oil is low in sulphur and gravity, but high in acid...QHD oil is richer in fuel oil and CNOOC is right now tapping the fuel oil market," said an industry source familiar with CNOOC's crude marketing.

QHD 32-6 is the latest new field to come onstream offshore China in the Bohai area and will be joined towards the end of the year by the bigger PL19-3 operated by Phillips Petroleum. Initial production for PL19-3 is estimated at 35,000-40,000 bpd. Equity holders will take turns to market their share of QHD production, while marketing strategy for PL19-3 was yet to be decided. CNOOC would have approximately 1.2 million tons of equity QHD 32-6 crude in 2002.