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    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Texaco announced today that it has signed petroleum contracts with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to explore three contract areas in the East China Sea covering some 8,100 square kilometers (2 million acres).
    The new acreage will nearly double Texaco's total exploration area in China to approximately 20,000 square kilometers or 4,935,000 acres -- an area roughly equivalent in size to the state of New Jersey in the United States.  Texaco is now one of the largest petroleum contract holders in China.
    Texaco China B.V. will act as operator and has a 40 percent interest in the contract areas.  Partners AGIP (Overseas) Ltd. and Maersk Oil China AS hold 30 percent each.  The three companies are the first foreign contractors to sign to explore in this major offshore area.
    "The East China Sea project ranks high in Texaco's exploration portfolio," said Dr. William P. Doyle, Texaco Inc. (NYSE: TX) vice president and president of the company's Middle East/Far East Division. "This is an important expansion of Texaco's long and mutually beneficial relationship with China.  We look forward to even more opportunities here in the years ahead."
    The contract areas, 33/05, 33/19 and 33/31, are situated 400 kilometers (250 miles) south-southeast of Shanghai.  Located in a continental shelf with an average water depth of 100 meters (300 feet), the areas are part of a moderate to high-risk exploration province that is regarded as highly prospective.
    Texaco China B.V., with its partners AGIP (Overseas) Ltd. and Chevron Overseas Petroleum Ltd., the ACT-Operators Group, working with a branch of CNOOC, the Nanhai East Oil Corporation, produces 60,000 barrels per day in the Pearl River Basin, offshore Shekou, in the South China Sea.  Texaco China B.V. also is exploring for oil and gas with CNOOC in Bohai Bay, located about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southeast of Beijing.
    Texaco Shanghai Inc. is working with the Shanghai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (SPC) on a development plan for the Ping-Hu oil and gas field in the East China Sea, 400 kilometers (250 miles) east-southeast of Shanghai.  The field is expected to supply the city of Shanghai and the surrounding Pudong New Area with natural gas and petroleum liquids. SPC is comprised of CNOOC, the city of Shanghai and the Ministry of Geology.
    NOTES TO EDITORS:  Additional Texaco activities in China:
    -- Through its participation in ACT-OG, Texaco was among the first foreign petroleum companies to re-establish operations in China in the early 1980s.  Texaco first entered China in 1913 when its predecessor, the Texas Oil Company, began selling kerosene for firing lamps throughout China.  In 1936, an arm of the just-formed Caltex Petroleum Corporation -- a 50-50 joint venture between Texaco and Chevron -- took over Texaco's China operations, including lubricant blending, marketing of refined petroleum products and retail service stations.
    -- More recent Caltex ventures include the opening of nine service stations in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone near Hong Kong since 1982 and the establishment in 1991 of the Shanghai Gaoqiao Caltex Lubricating Oil Company Ltd., a joint venture for blending Caltex-branded lubricants and Texaco and Chevron marine lubes.
    -- Texaco's Alternate Energy Group has licensed the company's proprietary Texaco Gasification Process to ten plants in China, including one in the city of Shanghai.  The process is a versatile technology that can utilize coal, heavy oil, petroleum coke and other hydrocarbon feedstocks to produce, in an environmentally sound way, a clean-burning synthesis gas for use in the petroleum industry, chemical manufacturing and electric power generation.
    -0-             10/27/93
    CONTACT:  Dave Dickson, 914-253-4128, or Sean Galvin, 914-253-6159
    (TX) -- DD002 -- X393  10/27/93
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 27, 1993

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