Sun, Dec 28, 2008 - Page 11 News List

CPC and CNOOC expand joint search for oil and gas

FURTHER AFIELD CPC Corp, Taiwan and China National Offshore Oil Corp will jointly explore the Anza basin in Kenya after they signed four accords

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CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油), the nation’s state-run oil company, and China National Offshore Oil Corp (中海油) have expanded their joint search for oil and gas to overseas.

In one of four accords signed on Friday, China National agreed to sell a 30 percent share in a Kenyan exploration block to CPC, the Taiwanese firm said in a statement on its Web site. Beijing- based China National is parent company of Hong Kong-listed CNOOC Ltd.

“The accords mean we’ll be exploring together overseas,” CPC spokesman Liao Tsang-long (廖滄龍) said by telephone on Friday. “That’s an important step.”

The companies’ previous agreement covered only waters off Taiwan.

After the sale to CPC, China National Offshore will own 40 percent of the Kenya block, in the African nation’s northern Anza basin, the Taiwanese company said.

CPC and China National Offshore also renewed through 2010 an agreement signed in 2002 to drill three exploratory wells off southern Taiwan.

The companies will also study the feasibility of exploring in the Nanridao basin off northern Taiwan, CPC said.

A fourth agreement calls for cooperation on a range of activities, such as overseas exploration, natural gas market development, crude oil refining and oil product trading, CPC said.

CPC chairman Pan Wenent (潘文炎) said in May last year that the company plans to more than double oil and gas reserves in five years to shield the nation against the rising cost of crude oil imports.

CPC has investments in fields in Africa, Southeast Asia, the US, Australia and Latin America.

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