CNOOC to Begin Drilling in East China Sea in December

CNOOC plans to drill one exploration well in the East China Sea in mid-December, a company executive said Thursday. The drilling of Nanping 11-4-1 will cost 100 million yuan ($1=CNY8.28), the executive said without giving details of the well.

He said CNOOC has decided to speed up oil and gas exploration at the East China Sea in the next a few years. In the past, the company focused its attention on oil and gas E&P in the South China Sea and the Bohai Sea.

Earlier this month, CNOOC Ltd.'s parent, China National Offshore Oil Corp., signed a petroleum contract with Husky Oil China for the exploration of Block 04/35 in the East China Sea.

In September, CNOOC Ltd. formed a consortium with its parent, Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Unocal and Sinopec, to explore the Xihu trough of the East China Sea.

The consortium expects to start oil and gas production from the Xihu trough by the middle 2005.