CNOOC Ltd. subsidiary CNOOC China Ltd. has signed a petroleum contract with PetroChina Co. Ltd, for the Beibu Gulf 23/29 and Beibu Gulf 24/11 blocks in the South China Sea’s Beibu Gulf Basin, according to a news release.

According to the contract terms, PetroChina will serve as operator during the exploration period in the contract area comprising the two blocks and bear 70% of direct exploration expenditures, while CNOOC China Ltd. will bear the other 30% of direct exploration expenditures, the release said.

The other exploration expenditures will be borne by each party separately and will not be credited to the relevant joint account. After entering the development and production phase, the two parties, each with 50% participating interests in the contract area, will set up a joint operation organization to act as joint operators, according to the release.

Covering 980 sq km with a water depth of up to 85 m, the Beibu Gulf 23/29 Block is located in the Fushan sag. The Beibu Gulf 24/11 Block spans 464 sq km with a water depth of up to 40 m and is located in the Leidong sag of the basin.