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CNOOC Hits Gas Again in Yinggehai

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Chinese energy giant CNOOC Ltd. (CEO - Free Report) has come across a big gas field in the Yinggehai basin in the South China Sea, as reported by the chairman of its parent company - China National Offshore Oil Company (“CNOOC”).

The recoverable reserves from the basin are still under appraisal by the state. The announcement of the new gas find follows CNOOC’s high pressure/high temperature (HP/HT) find at the Yinggehai basin in the western South China Sea in April this year. This marked a breakthrough for the company at the HP/HT gas reservoir at Yinggehai, highlighting the exploration potential of the basin.

CNOOC reported that the DongFang (DF) 13-2-1 well in the Yinggehai basin hit a 35-meter thick gas pay zones. The well reached a depth of 3168 meters and gas was spud at a water depth of 65 meters. In the course of the test phase, well flow rate was recorded at 42.4 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

The successful evaluation of the middle formation of the DF 13-1 gas field, way back in 2010, led to the current discovery.

In August 2012, CNOOC had spud gas output of over 1 million cubic meters per day in a single well in the Dongfang 13-2, which made it one of the largest gas discoveries offshore China. Located in northwestern part of the South China Sea - Yinggehai basin – is believed to be gas rich. A major part of the South China Sea, which extends from China to Indonesia and from Vietnam to the Philippines is assumed to hold rich oil and gas resources.

Recent successful oil discoveries – like Luda 6-2 and Lufeng 15-1 − in two different plays in China bear evidence to CNOOC’s constant efforts to upgrade its portfolio and enhance shareholder value.

We remain positive on CNOOC’s performance, which reflects its premium assets portfolio, excellent execution strategy, unique position as a pure oil player and potential transactions in the merger and acquisition space.

CNOOC Ltd., which recently inked a deal to purchase Canadian energy producer Nexen Inc. , carries a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating). Longer term, we maintain our Neutral recommendation.

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