BP Gets Approval for South China Sea Exploration
The Ministry of Commerce, People’s Republic of China, has granted consent to British Petroleum (BP), for an exploration drilling in the South China Sea in partnership with CNOOC, China Daily reveals today.
BP and the block operator CNOOC signed a deal for the exploration at the 43/11 deepwater block in South China Sea in January last year, but the agreement was subject to the Government’s approval.
This is BP’s second project in the deep waters of South China Sea after it had bought a stake in the Block 42/05 from Devon Energy China Ltd., in September 2010.
China daily reports that the partners in the project plan to use China’s first and only home made deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig Offshore Oil 981.
Asked when the exploration drilling would begin, BP China President Chen Liming told Reuters: “When we start depends on many factors, such as whether the drilling rig is ready. We hope to start drilling there by the end of the year.”
BP has been operating in China since the early 1970s and has business activities which include offshore gas production, chemical joint ventures, LPG import and marketing, oil product and lubricant retailing, chemicals joint ventures manufacturing ,technology licensing etc. According to China Daily, the British oil giant has so far invested more than USD 5 billion into China.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, February 15, 2012; Image: CNOOC