Chevron has received final approval to acquire operating interests in three exploration blocks in the South China Sea’s Pearl River Mouth Basin.

Chevron owns blocks 53-30 and 64-18, as well as a 59.18% interest in block 42-05 while the remainder is owned by BP.

The blocks, which were previously owned by Devon Energy China, cover an exploratory acreage of 8,100 square miles.

Chevron will be the operator during the exploration phase under amendment agreements to its production sharing contract with China National Offshore Oil Corporation.