Newfield to explore South China Sea block

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Dec 14 -- Newfield Exploration Co., Houston, will explore a block in the South China Sea under a production-sharing contract signed with China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC).

Block 17/08 covers 7,108 sq km in 150-350 m of water in the Pearl River Mouth basin 180 km off Hong Kong. Newfield will have a 100% working interest in the block during the exploration phase, but CNOOC reserves the right to back in to any development with a 51% interest.

Newfield said it plans to reprocess 2D and 3D seismic data and shoot a 3D seismic survey over an undeveloped discovery on Block 17/08. Newfield also is committed to drill wildcat wells during the exploration period, with the first well to be drilled during the next 3 years.

CNOOC and Newfield also signed a geophysical survey agreement on adjacent Block 16/05, which covers 2,064 sq km. Newfield said it will acquire 3D seismic data there.

Newfield will have a 100% interest in Block 16/05, subject to back-in by CNOOC.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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