China, Pakistan to Enhance Cooperation in Marine Energy Exploration

Mon Mar 11 2024
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BEIJING: Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Tianjin general manager Yan Hongtao, a deputy to the National People’s Congress, said that China and Pakistan could deepen their all-weather strategic cooperative partnership by cooperating more extensively on joint marine energy exploration and development.

CNOOC, a pioneer in offshore oil and gas resource exploration in China, has actively contributed to the construction of the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road.” This effort includes participation in the 91-day China-Pakistan joint marine geological survey in the Indian Ocean starting from December 2019, aimed at bolstering bilateral friendly cooperation in science.

During the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2023, leaders from both countries expressed their desire to leverage the 10th anniversary of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to develop an “upgraded version” of the corridor focusing on growth, livelihood, innovation, greenness, and openness. This includes enhancing cooperation in industrial parks, agriculture, mining, and new energy.

Yan highlighted the importance of continuing geological surveys and research in Pakistani waters under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) framework. Such efforts would establish a robust data foundation for identifying potential oil and gas areas, selecting favorable zones, evaluating resources, and analyzing the oil and gas potential in the region.

He proposed promoting China-Pakistan joint energy exploration and development cooperation along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in Pakistan’s exclusive economic zone in the Indian Ocean. Additionally, Yan suggested assisting Pakistan in exploring marine energy in the marine exclusive economic zone along the Indus Fan Basin, including data collection and ocean drilling.

Furthermore, Yan recommended conducting joint energy surveys with other countries along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, such as Vietnam and East African coastal countries, to achieve more energy breakthroughs and foster regional cooperation.

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