Cnooc ‘Very Confident’ of Meeting Target, CEO Says

(Corrects currency conversion in fourth paragraph of story that moved on Nov. 27.)

Cnooc Ltd. (883), China’s biggest offshore oil and gas producer, is “very confident” of meeting its annual production target, Chief Executive Officer Li Fanrong said at a shareholder meeting in Hong Kong today.

The company plans to produce 338 million to 348 million barrels of oil equivalent, excluding output at Canada’s Nexen Inc., which it bought earlier this year for $15.1 billion.

Cnooc is seeking investment opportunities in Northern Europe including Iceland, Li said. The company has been in contact with the government of Iceland and no decision has been made, he said.

The explorer’s oil and natural gas sales rose 16 percent to 56.1 billion yuan ($9.2 billion) in the three months ended Sept. 30, the Beijing-based company on Oct. 24.

The company has started nationwide safety inspections after an explosion at a pipeline operated by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386), known as Sinopec, killed at least 55 people in Qingdao last week, Cnooc’s Chairman Wang Yilin said at the meeting.

“It’s a terrible accident, and all energy companies in the country have to learn a lesson from it and make sure things like that don’t happen again,” Wang said.

Cnooc is in a position to benefit from market-based reforms championed by the ruling Communist Party of China in its plenum last month, Wang said, without elaborating.

Cnooc acquired a 10 percent stake in a 35-year production sharing contract to develop the Libra pre-salt oil discovery in the Santos Basin, Brazil in October. China National Petroleum Corp., the country’s biggest oil and gas producer, also acquired a 10 percent stake in the offshore project.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aibing Guo in Hong Kong at aguo10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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