China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) said Monday that it's making nine offshore blocks in the South China Sea available for joint operation with foreign companies.
Seven of the blocks are sited in the Zhongjianan Basin, while two are located in areas covering the Wan'an Basin and the Nanweixi Basin.
The blocks, in water 984 feet to 13,123 feet (300 meters to 4,000 meters) deep, span an area of 61,824 square kilometers (160,124 square miles), CNOOC said.
CNOOC is actively seeking foreign oil companies to gain knowledge on offshore field development technology as it is keen to develop its own deepwater capabilities.
The company had on May 11, 2012, signed a production sharing contract (PSC) with Australia's ROC Oil for Block 09/05 in Bohai. Block 09/05 is located 31 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Tianjin, with a total area of 137 square miles (355 square kilometers) and water depth of 13-33 feet (4-10 meters).
CNOOC operates offshore blocks in four major oil-producing areas: Bohai Bay, Western South China Sea, Eastern East China Sea and East China Sea.