September 17, 2009 / 4:56 AM / in 8 years

China CNPC to start deepwater exploration after 2015

BEIJING, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Top Chinese oil company China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) may start deepwater oil and gas exploration after 2015 when some deepwater facilities become available, a company engineer said on Thursday.

“CNPC has some blocks in Africa and the Middle East, but they are still at the begining stages,” Tian Honglian, an engineer with the state-owned company’s economic and technology research institute, told the deepwater Asia-Pacific Conference in Beijing.

    “The exploration of some overseas offshore blocks acquired before the financial crisis were basically halted because of the crisis and a lack of equipment,” he added.

    He said CNPC had also carried out some exploration in the South China Sea and further progress was subject to government policy, diplomatic efforts and geopolitics.

    CNPC, which operates its core business via listed PetroChina (0857.HK) (601857.SS), Asia’s largest oil and gas producer, secured a $30 billion state loan last week to fund overseas expansion as Beijing seeks to secure resources for the world’s fastest-growing major economy. (Reporting by Jim Bai; Editing by Chris Lewis) (eadie.chen@reuters.com; +8610 6627 1268; Reuters Messaging: eadie.chen.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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