CNOOC finds gas in China's largest offshore discovery in three years
( 2003-07-29 07:02) (China Daily)
CNOOC Ltd, the nation's largest offshore oil
producer, has discovered significant natural gas reserves in the South China
Sea, claimed to be the largest offshore findings of the past three years in
The two gas fields, around 200 kilometres offshore from Zhuhai, in
Guangdong Province, and nearby Macao, hold combined reserves of about 42.48
billion cubic metres. The reserves should make up about 10 per cent of CNOOC's
existing oil and gas reserves.
The fields, named Panyu 30-1 and Panyu
34-1, will strengthen the company's dominance in Chinese waters, and help it
cash in on the rapid gas demand in the Zhuhai-Macao area.
discoveries, CNOOC expects its gas supplies to triple to 18-22 billion cubic
metres a year by 2010, the firm's Chief Financial Officer Mark Qiu told
reporters during a conference call yesterday.
"The discoveries are very
significant,'' said Qiu.
CNOOC plans to develop the fields together with
smaller offshore reserves nearby to improve economic efficiency.
they plan to set aside US$500 million-US$700 million for the initial development
of the fields.
The gas will be delivered to Zhuhai area and Macao via
submerged pipelines, starting in 2006 or 2007.
The discovery is the first
major natural gas find off the Pearl River Deltain. It was an unexpected
discovery, as CNOOC had conducted oil explorations in the area
"The discoveries open new exploration prospects in the area,''
Zhou Shouwei, president of the company, said in a statement.
Kwan, an energy analyst with Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation, said the
discoveries are expected to attract foreign investors to explore oil and gas in
"Gas is always associated with oil,'' said Kwan. "The new
discoveries indicate the potential of rich oil and gas reserves in the Pearl
River Delta area.''
Qiu expects 70 per cent of the gas will be consumed
by power plants and the rest by residential users in Zhuhai and
CNOOC is eyeing its embryonic natural gas industry as the new cash
cow to fuel its growth.
"The natural gas business is a new and
increasingly visible growth engine for cash flow and earnings for the company,''
Qiu said the new finding is set to help the company build an
extensive gas supply network in South China to meet the increasing demand for
clean energy in this most prosperous area in China.