CNOOC to Drill 7-12 Wells in South China Sea in 2010

BEIJING (Dow Jones Newswires), Sept. 17, 2009

CNOCC Ltd. and its partners plan to drill seven to 12 deepwater wells in the South China Sea next year, Wang Yan, a company official with responsibility for licensing exploration blocks, said Thursday.

CNOOC's drilling plan underscores the company's drive to make the South China Sea a key production base in the coming years, with the area estimated to contain 22 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Around CNY200 billion ($29.3 billion) needs to be invested in oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea at water depths of 1,500-3,000 meters over the next decade, Luo Donghong, chief development engineer with CNOOC's unit in Shenzhen, had said earlier this year.  

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