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Phillips, Pecten Orient Sign Offshore Oil Contract With China

December 17, 1985

PEKING (AP) _ Phillips Petroleum International Corp. and Pecten Orient Co. have signed a contract with China for offshore oil exploration rights in the South China Sea.

The official news agency Xinhua said Tuesday that the American companies were awarded a contract area of 2,773 square miles in the Pearl River mouth basin about 90 miles from the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.

It was the third contract in the second round of offshore bidding, which began in November, 1984.

The first contract was awarded to three Japanese companies, and the second was given to the Esso-Shell group, formed by Esso China Ltd. of the United States and Shell Exploration (China) Ltd. of Britain.

Xinhua said the China National Offshore Oil Corp. received 24 offers from foreign oil companies before the July 1 deadline for second-round bids.

The first round of bidding in 1982 resulted in 19 contracts with 28 foreign companies.

China relaxed its terms for second-round contracts after initial drilling yielded disappointing results. Since foreign companies were invited to prospect for offshore oil in 1979, only one oil field has gone into production.

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