CNOOC starts work in South China Sea

Oct. 19, 2012 at 9:14 AM

BEIJING, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A Chinese oil company announced it started production at two new oil fields located in the shallow waters of the South China Sea.

China National Offshore Oil Corp. Ltd. announced that production started in the Weizhou 11-2 and Weizhou 6-9/6-10 wells in the Beibu Gulf of the South China Sea.

CNOOC said there are four oil-producing wells in the Weizhou 11-2 oil field, where a production target of 3,960 barrels of oil per day was expected this year. Peak production of 5,870 bpd from the Weizhou 6-9/6-10, where there are nine producing wells, is expected to by next year.

CNOOC serves as the operator of both fields with a 100-percent stake.

Beijing is at odds with its regional allies over offshore territorial claims. Japan sparked outrage after it announced plans to purchase the Senkaku Islands, known in China as Diaoyu. The countries have debated territorial rights to the uninhabited, but energy-rich, islands, located in the East China Sea.

Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said after talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that diplomacy was the favored course of action.

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