Wed, Oct 31, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Chinese oil giants eyeing Greenland onshore blocks

Reuters, BEIJING

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC, 中國石油天然氣) and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC, 中國海洋石油) have expressed interest in bidding for onshore oil and gas blocks in Greenland to be offered in 2021, officials said yesterday.

The Arctic island, a self-ruling part of Denmark, is shifting its licensing strategy from offshore to onshore in an effort to generate revenues faster, the officials said.

The next blocks to be tendered are to be on the Disko Island and Nuussuaq Peninsula area of West Greenland, Greenlandic Industry and Energy Minister Aqqalu Jerimiassen said on the sidelines of a Greenland Day event at the Danish embassy in Beijing.

Jerimiassen, who took office in May, said he met on Monday with the two Chinese oil majors, as well as the Chinese National Energy Administration.

The Chinese asked for follow-up meetings to discuss technical issues, Greenlandic Deputy Industry and Energy Minister Jorn Skov Nielsen said.

“They have not been active in Greenland earlier. It’s a new approach,” he said. “We are moving the short-term strategy of licensing onshore.”

CNPC and CNOOC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In Iceland, CNOOC has been exploring the offshore Dreki area, but has not reported any finds.

Nielsen said it was too early to say how many blocks would be tendered, or to give an estimate for the resources in the “highly prospective” area.

The US Geological Survey puts Greenland’s offshore oil and gas resources at about 50 billion barrels of oil equivalent, he said.

Greenland’s domestic energy goal is to be powered 100 percent by clean energy by 2030, Jerimiassen later told a news conference, up from 70 percent, which is mostly from hydropower.

Greenland is to set up a representative office in Beijing “within a year,” Nielsen said.

Denmark and the US have been concerned about China’s interest in Greenland, notably over potential Chinese involvement in the financing and construction of airports.

Greenland last month picked Denmark as a partner for the upgrade of two airports, having earlier shortlisted a Chinese firm.

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