CNOOC Ltd has set up a joint venture to bring in private funds in an effort to boost offshore exploration and development activities in the South China Sea as part of a larger programme to further open up the country’s offshore sector.

The company has invited Guangdong Jiudin Energy, a local oil and gas developer in southern China’s Guangdong province, and local player Zhanjiang Infrastructure Construction & Investment Group to form a joint venture to jointly develop the Wushi oil complex, a string of new finds around the Wushi trough in the Beibu Gulf of the South China Sea.