CNOOC Ltd. has said that its unlisted parent company, China National Offshore Oil Corp., plans to start deepwater oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea next year with Husky Energy Inc. of Calgary.
China National Offshore Oil Corp. is restricted to pumping oil and gas offshore at no deeper than 350 m due to technology constraints.
CNOOC had previously signed a production sharing agreement with Husky to jointly explore and develop two deepwater blocs in the South China Sea. The two explored a bloc in the western part of the South China Sea in 2004, but the reserves discovered were too small for commercial drilling.
The bloc in the South China Sea is about 300 km south of Hong Kong, and if reserves are found, it will be China's first deepwater oil and gas field.