CNOOC agrees to purchase 50% stake in gas exploration blocks of Australia's Exoma

13:51, December 09, 2010      

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China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) said Thursday it has agreed to pay 50 million Australian dollars (48.99 million U.S. dollars) for a 50 percent stake in Australia-based Exoma Energy Ltd.'s gas exploration blocks.

The move will give CNOOC access to Exoma's five exploration blocks in the Galilee Basin in the state of Queensland, helping secure natural gas supplies for China, CNOOC manager Fu Chengyu said.

Exoma's exploration blocks have abundant reserves of coal-seam gas and shale gas, with an estimated 2.83 trillion cubic meters of gas.

The investment is the first time CNOOC will explore for unconventional gas overseas, he added.

The deal is subject to Chinese and Australian government approval processes.

Exoma Chairman Brian Barker said the deal with CNOOC will accelerate the exploration for gas reserves in the Galilee Basin.

He said he believes the five blocks' gas resources can meet rising Australian and Chinese demand.

CNOOC's shares climbed 0.45 percent to 18 dollars at 10 a.m. on the Hong Kong bourse.



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