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CNOOC plans to invest US$44B in South China

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China offshore oil specialist CNOOC said it will invest more than 300 billion yuan ($43.86 billion) in China’s southern Guangdong province in the next five years, a state-run newspaper reported on Thursday.

CNOOC chairman Fu Chengyu said the investment would go mainly towards South China Sea exploration, Huizhou petrochemical projects and a natural gas pipeline, the China Daily reported. The paper did not say if it was the state-owned parent company or the listed subsidiary CNOOC Ltd that would make the investment. But the size of the investment is bigger than the entire market value of CNOOC Ltd, which has a market capitalisation of about $36.5 billion.

CNOOC said last year it would step up deepwater exploration in the South China Sea from 2009 and to invest 200 billion yuan ($29.24 billion) until the end of the next decade.

Fu also said Guangdong was a key base for CNOOC’s future development

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