Cnooc gets NDRC approval to begin commercial output in Beibu Gulf

11/16/2012

Cnooc gets NDRC approval to begin commercial output in Beibu Gulf

BY WAYNE MA

BEIJING -- China's National Development and Reform Commission has given the go-ahead to Cnooc the country's primary offshore oil producer, and its Australian partners to begin commercial production at two offshore oil fields in the Beibu Gulf.

The NDRC, China's top economic planning body, said it approved Cnooc's overall development plan for the two fields in October, according to a statement posted on the commission's website. The Beibu Gulf is located about 60 kilometers from the southern coast of China.

Cnooc, which holds a 51% stake in the project, is the sole operator of the two fields, known as Weizhou 12-8 and Weizhou 6-12. Australia's Roc Oil, which initially led exploration of the fields, is the second largest stakeholder, with a 19.6% interest.

Roc Oil discovered crude oil at Weizhou 12-8 in 2004 and at Weizhou 6-12 in 2006, according to the company's website. In the second quarter of 2010, Cnooc exercised its right to take a majority stake in the project, which reduced Roc's share to 19.6% from 40%, Roc said. Three other

Australian companies Horizon Oil, Petsec Petroleum and Oil Australia own the remaining stake. The two offshore fields combined have an estimated 24 mbo of proven plus probable reserves of crude, Roc has said.

Dow Jones Newswires

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