HAI YANG SHI YOU 981 near Pearl River Mouth

CNOOC Ltd, CNOOC's listed arm and the country's near monopoly offshore player, is preparing to drill its first-ever deepsea well in the northern part of the South China Sea around the beginning of 2012 -- some six months behind an earlier plan. CNOOC geologists said in September that they have identified several major oil and gas structures through advanced seismic surveys, largely in two basins -- Qiongdongnan and Pearl River Mouth, both in the northern parts of the South China Sea.The mouth of the Pearl River forms a large bay in the southeast of the delta, the Zhujiang Kou. This bay separates Macau and Zhuhai from Hong Kong and Shenzhen. CNOOC Ltd would be using "Offshore 981", China's first home-made semi-submersible deepsea rig that cost 6 billion yuan ($940 million) to build. back

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