Chinese North Sea oil giant faces US blacklist

CNOOC is responsible for around a quarter of the UK's oil output in the North Sea

A Chinese state-owned oil giant whose subsidiaries are responsible for more than a quarter of the UK’s annual oil production is set to be blacklisted in the US over alleged military links, according to reports.  

The Trump administration is poised to add China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) to a list of companies designated as owned or controlled by the Chinese military, Reuters reported. 

Trump signed an executive order this month banning US investors from buying securities in those on the list - which includes Hikvision, China Telecom and China Mobile - from November 2021.  

CNOOC has a 64pc stake in a publicly quoted division, CNOOC Ltd, whose subsidiary CNOOC International owns and operates the Buzzard field about 100km north-east of Aberdeen, with partners including Chrysaor and Suncor Energy, among other North Sea assets.  

Buzzard is a key North Sea field, producing about 115,000 barrels per day in 2019, and CNOOC International is investing to avert a production decline. 

Shares in CNOOC Ltd fell 14pc in Hong Kong after the report emerged. It said its parent company had not received an official notice of the move.

The company produced 506.5m barrels of oil equivalent in 2019, from assets in China, Africa, the US, Europe and elsewhere.  

CNOOC'S subsidiaires also work alongside global energy companies around the world, including Exxon in Guyana and Shell in Australia.