By Eric Watkins
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25 -- China National Offshore Oil Co. plans spend up to $3.06 billion this year to increase oil and natural gas output by 9%. That level of spending would be a 35% increase over 2005.
CNOOC aims to raise output to 168-170 million boe from an unaudited estimate of 153-157 million boe in 2005.
The Chinese firm said it would boost spending on exploration by more than 70% to $455 million, with about a third of that allocated for overseas projects. It did not disclose specific projects or regions where extra funding might be allocated.
However, CNOOC plans more than 60 exploration wells this year, mostly off China. Chief Financial Officer Yang Hua said CNOOC is confident of future deepwater development.
He said China's deepwater areas have largely been untouched but some discoveries of natural gas have been made in shallower waters at the fringe of a deepwater area of the South China Sea.
CNOOC raised its budget for field development by 30% to $2.59 billion to help maintain its 7-11% long-term output growth target.
Contact Eric Watkins at [email protected].