CNOOC and Gorgon still working on deal

CNOOC and Gorgon say they are still negotiating a sales deal for Gorgon liquified natural gas, contradicting a report in yesterday's Australian newspaper that said CNOOC had pulled out of talks.

CNOOC Ltd, China's third-biggest oil company, said it met with Gorgon officials remains in Beijing on Wednesday and negotiations were continuing.

The contract is likely to be worth about about A$30 billion.

Gorgon and CNOOC, which reached an initial accord in October 2003 for a gas sale, said they are still negotiating terms, three months after an exclusivity period for that agreement expired.

The Gorgon partners are Chevron (operator) 50%, Shell 25% and ExxonMobil 25%.

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