UPDATE 1-CNOOC raises 2010 output, capex targets

* Says 2010 capex up 29.5 pct, output up 24 pct

* Says nine new projects coming on stream in 2010

* Shares end up 1 pct Tuesday, up 69 pct in 2009
(Adds details)

By Sui-Lee Wee

HONG KONG, Feb 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Top Chinese offshore oil and gas
producer CNOOC Ltd (0883.HK: ) said it plans to increase its
capital budget for oil exploration in 2010 and raised its output
forecasts amid rising crude oil prices.

State-backed CNOOC said on Tuesday that it aimed to produce
275-290 million barrels of oil and gas equivalent (boe), compared
with an estimated 226-228 million boe output for 2009.

That roughly 24 percent increase would represent a higher
annual growth target than international oil majors BP Plc (BP.L: )
and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: ), which have scaled back
targets amid falling oil prices.

“During 2010, nine new projects are expected to come on
stream, all of which are located offshore China, including major
projects such as Jinzhou 25-1 and Bozhong 19-4,” the company said
in a statement.

CNOOC, the smallest of China’s triumvirate of energy firms
including PetroChina (PTR.N: )(601857.SS: ) and Sinopec Corp
(0386.HK: )(SNP.N: )(600028.SS: ), said it had targeted US$7.93 billion
in capital expenditure for 2010, up 29.5 percent from last year.

Analysts were bullish on the outlook for oil and gas
producers in 2010, with crude prices expected to remain strong
this year.

Oil prices climbed 78 percent in 2009, notching the biggest
annual gain in a decade, part of a broad-based rally in
commodities and equities as investment returned to markets hit by
the global downturn.

But CNOOC’s lack of acquisitions since 2006 has sparked
concern over its production growth, pushing it to seek more
outbound deals such as the highly contested Jubilee oil field in
Ghana.

CNOOC, which has engineered acquisitions from Australia and
Indonesia and Nigeria, is scouring the globe for more oil to
supply China, the world’s No.2 oil consumer after the United
States.

Shares in CNOOC finished up 1.08 percent on Tuesday, compared
to a 0.14 percent gain on the benchmark Hang Seng Index (.HSI: ).
CNOOC rose 68.5 percent in 2009, compared with PetroChina, which
rose 37.3 percent, and Sinopec’s 47.3 percent gain.

After sliding to a five-year low under $33 at the end of
2008, oil prices staged a steady climb to a high of $82 in
October last year. [ID:nSGE5BU05X]

Stock Market Today

UPDATE 1-CNOOC raises 2010 output, capex targets