The 1,800-sq km (695-sq mi) block is around 200 km (124 mi) southeast of Hong Kong in water depths ranging from 340-600 m (1,115-1,968 ft).
Empyrean has the right to perform exploration under a geophysical survey agreement and a subsequent right to enter into a pre-negotiated production-sharing contract (PSC) with China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC).
Following the 40-day shoot, processing and interpretation of the resultant data should take a further 90 days to complete.
The survey will cover various leads and prospects previously identified on 2D seismic by Amoco (since acquired by BP) and CNOOC over the block, including Jade and Topaz, which Empyrean views as potential drilling candidates.
Coverage will extend to recent discoveries immediately west of the block 29/11.
Empyrean expects the survey to enhance technical understanding of producing formations in the region.
Assuming the company goes on to sign the PSC, CNOOC will have a back-in right to a 51% interest in the license in the event of a commercial discovery.