CNOOC lifts annual output target, bets on strong fourth quarter


CNOOC Ltd, the largest offshore oil and gas producer in China, raised its annual output target to between 335 and 345 million barrels of oil equivalent for 2012 from the 330 to 340 million BOE target set earlier, as the company is betting on strong growth in the fourth quarter of the year.

The group, which produced 87.8 million BOE in the three months through September 30 this year - up 8.3 percent from the previous quarter - is driven by "contribution from new projects and new development wells", as well as "the continuous improvement of overseas production and the stable performance of producing oil and gas fields", the company told Hong Kong's stock exchange on Wednesday.

Revenue generated from oil and gas sales amounted to 48.44 billion yuan ($7.74 billion) in the third quarter, up 4.7 percent from the same period last year. CNOOC has drilled eight offshore appraisal wells off the mainland during the past quarter, it said in the statement.

The growth momentum in the third quarter is likely to continue through the rest of the year, leading the company to lift the output target for the year, Zhong Hua, chief financial officer of the company, said during a conference call on Wednesday.

The output volume in the last quarter, which was also CNOOC's highest since 2011, was supported by the contribution of several new projects, said a Hong Kong-based analyst who declined to disclose her name.

However, as long as the production is not resumed at the Penglai 19-3 field, CNOOC's output in the fourth quarter is unlikely to significantly outstrip that in the previous quarter, she told China Daily.

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