The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) will expand its operations in Burma

Chinese energy firm to expand exploration
Rangoon (Mizzima) – The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) will expand its operations in Burma, christening three new drilling wells off the gulf of Martaban, according to an informed source within the energy sector.

The corporation, China’s third largest national oil company, will undertake exploration from November 1st to December 31st, investing more than US$40 million in the process, the source added.

The operation is located at an offshore block named M-10, bordering to the south of the M-12 and M-13 blocks, site of the Yetagon natural gas field, and to the east of M-9, a commercially viable gas deposit uncovered by Thailand’s PTTEP.

The source said a similar well was drilled at the same block in early last year but, while finding a gas deposit, was deemed not commercially feasible.

CNOOC is one of the major investors in Burma’s oil and gas sector, operating in five onshore and offshore blocks.

So far, four Chinese oil companies – SNOPEC, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), CNOOC and Chinnery Assets – are active in a total of ten onshore and offshore blocks in Burma.

According to official figures, as of March 31, 2009, China has invested $1.33 billion into Burma’s economy and infrastructure, with the oil and gas sector placing third in the list with investment of $124 million dollars – while the mining sector ranks as the most prominent target of Chinese development funds, claiming some $866 million dollars of the sum.

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