Italian oil and gas firm Eni has signed a new production sharing contract with China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) for exploration of Block 50/34 in the South China Sea.

The block covers an area of approximately 2,000km² in the Qiongdongnan Basin in conventional waters.

Under the contract, Eni will undertake 3D seismic survey and drill an exploration well in the block during the six-and-half-year exploration period.

"The block covers an area of approximately 2,000km² in the Qiongdongnan Basin in conventional waters."

Eni will bear all the expenditures during the period, which is planned to be subdivided in three phases.

Eni said the move confirms its intention to expand its position in China and especially in the South China Sea area.

CNOOC said it is one of the blocks that was offered for foreign cooperation in 2012 and it has the right to participate in up to 51% working stake after any commercial discoveries.

CNOOC, which is engaged in exploration, development, production and sale of offshore oil and natural gas, has oil and gas assets in Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Oceania and Europe.

Energy