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BP negotiating contract for sea block

Under fire firm will make joint bid with Chevron for Chinese sea exploration block

24 June 2010

BP will make a joint bid for a South China Sea exploration block with a rival US firm, it has been claimed.

The beleaguered oil giant will partner Chevron Corporation to buy an area of the sea located about 250 kilometers south of Hong Kong, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Should China's Ministry of Commerce accept the proposal, Chevron will act as operator with a 60 per cent stake in the block, with BP holding the remaining shares.

Cnooc Ltd, a division of China National Offshore Oil Corp, can exercise its right to a 51 per cent stake in the area if the firms discover commercial oil or natural gas.

Oklahoma-based firm Devon Energy Corphas claims the two firms are after block number 42/05, which spans across an area of 7,000 square kilometers.

The move highlights the fact that rival firms are still willing to do business with BP, despite the company's reputation taking a severe hit following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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