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Cnooc Starts Its First China Shale-Gas Exploration Project

Cnooc Ltd., China’s biggest offshore energy producer, started drilling at its first shale-gas project in the country, joining rivals including China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. in the search for unconventional natural gas.

Exploration started Dec. 29 in the eastern Anhui province, China National Offshore Oil Corp., Cnooc’s parent, said in a statement on its website yesterday. The shale-gas project is also the Hong Kong-listed unit’s first onshore venture, it said.