September 5, 2017 / 11:01 AM / in 10 months

China's CNOOC to explore new South China Sea block with SK Innovation

BEIJING (Reuters) - China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) signed a production sharing contract with South Korea’s SK Innovation Co to explore a block in the South China Sea, its listed unit CNOOC Ltd said in a statement on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO - Logos of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) are displayed at a news conference on the company's interim results in Hong Kong, China March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

Block 17/08 is located in the Pearl River Mouth Basin and covers an area of 466 square kilometers, with water depths ranging between 100 meters and 130 meters.

SK, South Korea’s largest refiner, will carry out exploration in the block and bear all the expense during the exploration phase.

If a discovery is made and development starts, CNOOC will have the right to take up to a 51 percent participating interest in any commercial production.

The companies signed similar contracts in 2015 to develop blocks 04/20 and 17/03 in same basin of the South China Sea.

CNOOC, according to its website, is looking for foreign partners to explore and develop 22 blocks this year.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Tom Hogue

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