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CNOOC’s $13bn oil, gas deals show China’s supply fears

© Supplied by ShutterstockCNOOC signed various deals to celebrate 40th birthday
CNOOC signed various deals to celebrate 40th birthday

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) struck $13 billion worth of deals to boost oil and gas supply, as the country aims to avoid a repeat of last year’s energy crunch.

The nation’s biggest offshore oil and gas driller has signed agreements with a dozen international firms, according to a statement Wednesday. That includes four contracts to jointly develop oil fields off China’s coast with foreign companies including TotalEnergies SE and ConocoPhillips.

At the signing ceremony, to celebrate CNOOC’s 40th birthday, the Chinese giant signed 13 contracts or strategic cooperation agreements with 12 international companies, involving exploration and development, oil and gas trade, refining and chemicals, technical services and other fields. “Among them, CNOOC and Total Energy, ConocoPhillips, Smart Oil and ROC signed a total of four oil exploration and development related agreements in China’s offshore waters, and its subsidiaries also signed liquefied natural gas (LNG), crude oil and other purchase agreements, with a total amount of about more than $13 billion,” CNOOC said in the statement.

China is the world’s largest energy user and President Xi Jinping has set long-term goals to curb reliance on pricey imports even as the nation’s demand for oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) continues to rise. In the short term, the country is lifting fuel purchases from overseas and last year toppled Japan as the world’s No. 1 LNG importer.

Cnooc’s deals include pacts for imports of oil and LNG from suppliers including Kuwait National Petroleum Co. and US-based Energy Transfer LP, state media China Petrochem reported, without citing any sources.

KNPC and Cnooc didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking further details of the reported agreements. Energy Transfer signed a heads of agreement with Cnooc to work on a deal to supply LNG from its Lake Charles project in Louisiana, the company said in a statement.

Cnooc, the smallest of China’s big three state-owned oil companies, will lift output by as much as 40 million barrels this year, mainly from its oil fields in Bohai Bay and the South China Sea. The producer is continuing to prioritise investments in fossil fuels over clean energy.

PetroChina Co. and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, are also boosting output to help avoid a repeat of the 2021 energy crisis that led to blackouts and power rationing in many regions.

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