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August 13, 2009

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CPC agrees to explore for gas

CHINA Petrochemical Corp yesterday reached an agreement with oil refiner CPC Corp to jointly explore for gas off the coast of north Australia.

The Taiwan-based CPC will buy a 40 percent stake in the NT/P76 offshore block, China Petrochemical, also known as Sinopec Group, said in a statement on its Website yesterday.

It did not reveal financial details.

The 4,715-square-kilometer block was estimated to have gas reserves of 368 million billion cubic meters, according to the companies. The block has a water depth of 80 to 530 meters in the Bonaparte basin about 330 kilometers from Darwin.

Sinopec Group, parent of China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, won the rights to the block in an auction last year.

CPC is buying energy assets to secure stable oil supplies, and the deal is the second between the two companies in Australia. In 2004, the firms launched joint exploration at block AC/P21, operated by Eni SpA, Italy's biggest oil company.

CPC also signed agreements with China National Offshore Oil Corp in December to cooperate in overseas exploration and crude processing.

They agreed to cooperate in the natural gas market and crude and refined oil trade as well as a technology sharing and staff training.


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