CNOOC inks deal with SafeHouse to boost safety

Updated: 2013-11-05 10:34

By Bao Chang (China Daily)

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China National Offshore Oil Corp on Monday signed a contract worth 150,000 pounds ($239,385) with Scotland's SafeHouse Habitats Ltd to boost the Chinese firm's safety conditions in offshore platforms.

SafeHouse's patented products will be used to reduce the high cost of production on offshore rigs during repair and maintenance projects, CNOOC said.

According to CNOOC, the Dundee-based company may also move some of its production bases to China.

"Today's contract signing demonstrates CNOOC's commitment to the safety of offshore drilling platforms in China and other markets around the world," said Ian Ross, general manager at SafeHouse Habitats' Chinese branch.

The agreement was announced at a news conference in Beijing, during which a series of new partnerships and business deals between Scotland and China, with a projected total value of 40 million pounds over the next 10 years, were disclosed.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, who is visiting China, said that CNOOC is now the second-largest producer of oil and gas in Scotland, and that he hopes that CNOOC might be the largest producer. The bilateral partnership should be expanded not only to the oil production sector but also to the oil services industry, he added.

Traveling with a commercial and trade delegation comprising 30 company executives, Salmond kicked off his official visit to China on Monday. The aim of the trip is to deepen cooperation with Chinese partners in the oil and gas and construction industries.

"In the past few years, Scotland has seen increased investment from China into the market, with CNOOC's acquisition of Nexen and Sinopec's interest in Talisman's North Sea business. This week, I'm introducing some of our innovative companies to Chinese energy giants to export more skills and expertise to China," Salmond said.

Scotland's exports to China increased 88 percent to 498 million pounds in 2012, from 265 million pounds in 2007. Among the products exported to China, food and livestock goods reflected the robust growth with an increase of 340 percent to a total of 19.5 million pounds in recent years.

Furthermore, 12 Chinese companies, including CNOOC, Sinopec Ltd, Bank of China Ltd, Lenovo Group Ltd and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, have invested in Scotland through a mix of direct investments, mergers and acquisitions, research and development, partnerships, and joint venture business modules.