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CNOOC targets rapid growth in 2006

  HONG KONG, Jan. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation) Limited announced here Monday that its total budgeted net production volume in 2006 will increase 9 percent over the previous year. 

  Speaking at a press conference about the Company's business strategy and development plan for 2006, Executive Vice President of the Company Yang Hua said that the company's total budgeted net production volume in 2006 is approximately 168-170 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), about a 9 percent year-on-year (YOY) increase over the estimated 153-157 million BOE in 2005.

  Net production offshore China is estimated to be 148-149 million BOE in 2006. The Company's overseas output is expected to be enhanced by the North West Shelf Project in Australia, which is scheduled to supply gas to Guangdong LNG terminal in the first half of this year. With this project, the Company's net entitlement overseas is expected to reach 20-21 million BOE, Yang said.

  During the year, ten projects offshore China are expected to come on stream, two of which are ready for production. Overall, for 2006 and 2007, it is expected that 16 projects will be completed, Yang added.

  On the exploration front, the Company plans to conduct more drilling, seismic acquisition activities offshore China, particularly in Bohai Bay and the South China Sea.

  In order to explore oil and gas potentials, the overseas exploration activities will be further strengthened, the company said, adding that the exploration budget is estimated to increase 72 percent to reach the level of 455 million U.S. dollars and the reserve replacement ratio is targeted to be more than 100 percent in 2006.

  At the same time, the Company expects to spend 2.59 billion U.S. dollars in development, a 30 percent YOY increase. In total, the Company's 2006 capital expenditure is budgeted at 3.06 billion U.S.dollars, 35 percent up from last year's figure, the company disclosed.

  With the commencement of new gas projects and CNOOC's Guangdong LNG terminal, it is believed that the Company will further strengthen its leading position in gas business in coastal China.

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