China National Offshore Oil Corporation
") inked a petroleum contract with Husky Oil China Limited
for deepwater block 40/30 in the Pearl River Mouth Basin of the South China Sea.
This is the first deepwater exploration contract signed between CNOOC and foreign petroleum companies since it announced the tendering of deepwater areas in September. A number of foreign companies are still studying the geological data of the 12 deepwater blocks in the South China Sea offered by CNOOC in this September.
Block 40/30 is located about 100 kilometers southeast of Hainan Island in the Pearl River Mouth Basin. It covers a total area of about 6704 square kilometers with water depth between 600 to 1500 meters.
Under the terms of the contract, the exploration period will be divided into three phases. In the first phase of exploration, one wildcat of 1600 meters in depth is required. The minimum exploration expenditure is estimated to be US$10 million.
Husky pays 100 percent exploration expenditure and CNOOC has the right to farm in up to 51% working interest in any commercial discoveries in the block.
"We believe these new deepwater provinces will open new opportunities to us and our foreign partners." Ru Ke, Executive Vice President of the Company. "We are confident more interests will follow Husky's lead."