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China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC)




Date: December 2006 – October 2011

Deal: According to Dow Jones Newswires, in December 2006 CNOOC signed a $16 billion preliminary agreement to develop the North Pars gas field and build liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities there over a period of eight years (Dow Jones Newswires, December 20, 2006).

The National also reported that in May 2009, CNOOC signed an agreement to develop the North Pars gas field as the first step in a plan to develop Iranian gas liquefaction facilities. The company reportedly hopes that upon completion, the project will produce 10 million tons of natural gas per year (The National, January 9, 2010). China's Xinhua reported that as part of the agreement, "CNOOC's subsidiary CNOOC Service will use an offshore drilling platform currently under operation to explore [the Gulf for additional resources] and will supply [its] Iranian partner with one or two drilling platforms in the future" (Xinhua (China), June 1, 2009).

Reuters reported that as of August 2009, CNOOC and Iran were in ongoing talks (Reuters, August 18, 2009).

However in October 2011, AFP reported that Iran suspended CNOOC’s $16 billion North Pars gas field contract, in order to “push it to meet its obligations in [the South Pars gas field]” (AFP, October 12, 2011).

Ties to U.S. Business: According to, CNOOC has not received any contracts from the federal government in the past 10 years (, accessed June 23, 2010).

According to industry news sources, in late 2009, CNOOC signed an agreement with Norway's StatoilHydro to become a stakeholder in four Gulf of Mexico oil field leases. In the deal, StatoilHydro remains the operator of all four fields (Rigzone, November 4, 2009).

According to Bloomberg, CNOOC bought a one third stake in Chesapeake Energy Corp’s shale project in Texas for $1.08 billion in October 2010. As part of the agreement, CNOOC will pay $1.08 billion for estimated drilling costs (Bloomberg, October 11, 2010).

According to Reuters in January 2011, CNOOC singed an additional deal with Chesapeake Energy Corp for $1.3 billion for a 33.3 percent stake in the company’s leased acres in Colorado and Wyoming. CNOOC agreed to fund 66.7 percent of Chesapeake’s drilling and completion costs (Reuters, January 30, 2011).

Last Updated: July 7, 2014