Wed, Mar 18, 2009 - Page 11 News List

CPC, CNOOC may team up in search

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State-run CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) may invite its Chinese counterpart to jointly search for oil and gas in waters near Taiwan to share costs.

CPC may extend its partnership with China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC, 中海油) if blocks off Taiwan’s coast show evidence of oil or gas, said John Hsu (徐永耀), chief executive of CPC’s exploration and production division. The companies are jointly exploring the Taiwan Strait.

“We want to reduce risks by sharing stakes,” Hsu told reporters in Taipei yesterday. “You don’t know if you can find anything when drilling a well.”

Early estimates show that a block off Taiwan’s northwestern Miaoli county may have potential to produce 20 million barrels of oil and another near Kaohsiung City may hold as much as 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas, Hsu said.

The refiner and CNOOC agreed in December to expand their search for oil and gas overseas and in the Taiwan Strait.

CPC and CNOOC renewed through next year an agreement signed in 2002 to drill three exploratory wells in the southern part of the Taiwan Strait. The companies will also study the feasibility of exploring in the Nanridao basin in the northern part of the strait, CPC said in December.

CPC operates 42 oil and gas wells in Taiwan and plans to drill three this year, the company said in a report to lawmakers on Monday.

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