China’s primary offshore oil company has invited foreign companies to bid on an unprecedented number of deep-water blocks in an attempt to boost domestic oil output, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Oil production has grown slowly over the past decade even as China’s energy demand has surged, the report said. China’s crude oil output has grown by an average of 2.2 percent annually since 2002 amid maturing domestic fields, government data shows. At the same time, its oil demand is expected to grow by about 4 percent in 2013 and 2014, the report said, citing energy forecasts by the United States government. State-run CNOOC Ltd. is offering 25 offshore blocks to foreign companies this year, 15 of which have a depth of at least 1,480 feet, the threshold for deep water, the report said. Last year, CNOOC offered 26 blocks, six of which were in deep water. That was the first time in a decade it had offered deep-water blocks to foreign partners, the report said.
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