CHINA National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) has launched the first batch of offshore blocks in its 2009 licensing round, with 17 blocks in the South China Sea open to bidding by foreign operators.
CNOOC said four of the blocks are located in the western South China Sea and the other 13 are in the eastern South China Sea. Together, they cover just over 42,000sq km.
The four blocks in the western South China Sea are 22/24, 23/20, 26/20 and 26/21.
The first two lie in the eastern Haitoubei Sag and western Maichen Sag of the Beibuwan Basin, with water depths ranging 18-40m.
Thus far, 2D seismic has been acquired on both blocks and five wells drilled in block 22/24 and four in block 23/20.
The second two blocks lie in the Yangjiang Sag and Yangchun Sag of the western Pearl River Mouth Basin, with water depths ranging 70-100m. 2D seismic has been shot on both blocks, and two wells have been drilled on block 26/20 and three on block 26/21.
2D seismic has been shot across all 13 blocks in the eastern South China Sea; most have been drilled, too.