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Monday, July 24, 2006

CNOOC eyes expansion in Africa

CNOOC Ltd, China's largest offshore oil producer, plans to increase its investments in Africa as opportunities for investments in U.S. companies are limited after U.S. lawmakers blocked a $18.5 billion bid for Unocal Corp. last year, Chairman Fu Chengyu told local press.

China is looking to overseas investments to secure oil supplies to help meet the needs of a growing Chinese economy, which grew 11.3 percent in the second quarter of this year, its fastest pace in more than a decade.

"If you can't do it somewhere, then you can always do it somewhere else," Fu said. "We're looking at opportunities in Africa as a whole."

CNOOC invested $2.7 billion this year in Nigerian projects and is slowly beginning its expansion strategy after lessons learned from the failed attempt to acquire Unocal.

"Rather than just expanding quickly, he's now more practical in his approach to steadily grow the company," he said.

The company is looking to Angola and other African nations since the continent supplies 12 percent of the world's oil and Africa is expanding sales to China.

Some acquisitions will be made alone or through partnerships with companies such as France's Total SA, operator of the Nigerian field, Fu said.
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