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Chinese energy giant reshuffles top management
by Staff Writers
Hong Kong (AFP) Nov 25, 2011

Shares in CNOOC, China's biggest offshore oil and gas producer, fell in Hong Kong Friday after it replaced Yang Hua as chief executive, the latest in a string of management shake-ups at top Chinese firms.

The company said it had appointed executive director Li Fanrong as replacement with immediate effect, a move seen as part of preparations for next year's leadership change in Beijing.

Its shares were down more than two percent at HK$13.42 in morning trade, mainly due to the weak outlook for oil prices, analysts said.

CNOOC said in a statement that Yang's resignation was due to his responsibilities as president of state-owned parent company China National Offshore Oil Corp., which will require more of his time.

"Mr Yang continues to serve as the vice chairman of the board and will primarily focus on the strategy of the company," it said.

Li is a Western-educated engineer who joined the company in 1984.

Gordon Kwan, head of energy research at Mirae Asset Securities in Hong Kong, said Li was a safety expert whose skills were needed as the company explored for oil and gas in more challenging environments.

"We believe this latest management reshuffle is positive for CNOOC in the long run," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

"Judging by their past track records, Yang Hua's strength is in developing long-term production growth strategy, while Mr Li has extensive experience in operations safety management."

The company's shares have fallen 23.66 percent since the beginning of August.

On November 6, CNOOC announced that Bridas, its joint venture with Bridas Energy Holdings Ltd., had terminated its proposed acquisition of BP's 60-percent stake in Argentine oil company Pan American Energy LLC.

On the bright side, last week the firm said its bid for Alberta oil-sands producer OPTI Canada Inc. had been approved by the Canadian government, allowing the $2.1 billion acquisition to proceed.

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China to charge 14 over oil pipeline blast
Shanghai (AFP) Nov 25, 2011 - China said 14 people will be charged and another 29 punished over an oil pipeline blast in the northeastern city of Dalian last year that caused a massive spill.

Two pipelines exploded at an oil storage depot belonging to national oil giant China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) in July 2010, triggering a spectacular blaze that burned throughout at least two days.

The government estimated about 1,500 tonnes of oil poured into the Yellow Sea after the fire, but environmental watchdog Greenpeace said up to 60 times that amount may have escaped.

CNPC chairman Jiang Jiemin and 28 senior executives will receive warnings or "demerit" marks over the incident, the State Council, or cabinet, said in a statement late Thursday.

Fourteen employees will face criminal charges, it said.

Another 35 people will lose their jobs or receive warnings over another three incidents at CNPC's operations in Dalian, a major Chinese port and transport hub in Liaoning province.


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Oil prices mixed in volatile trade
New York (AFP) Nov 25, 2011
Oil prices were mixed in volatile trade on Friday, as concerns about the ongoing Iranian nuclear crisis were offset by new eurozone debt tensions. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, rose 60 cents to $96.77 a barrel. Volume was weak in the United States thanks to the Thanksgiving weekend. Brent North Sea crude for January slid $1.38 to $106.40. "I ... read more

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