BEIJING, Feb 25 (Reuters) - China National Offshore Oil Company, or CNOOC, has issued a tender inviting foreign firms to bid for 18 blocks off China's northern, eastern and southern coast, according to a company statement.
The blocks have a total size of 52,257 square km, including three blocks in the Bohai Bay area, one in East China Sea and 14 in the northern part of the South China Sea, the company said on its website www.cnooc.com.cn.
CNOOC said it would offer flexible contract terms when it comes to the exploration period and withdrawal in the geologically more challenging deepwater, high-temperature and high-pressure blocks.
Investment firms or consortia are also allowed to bid, provided that CNOOC acts as the operator, according to the statement.
Data rooms for these blocks are open from Feb. 24 through June 30.
A couple of the blocks are located close to the disputed Paracel Islands, which China occupies and Vietnam claims, while a few are located near the Pratas Islands, which are occupied by Taiwan. (Reporting by Chen Aizhu and Adam Rose; editing by Susan Thomas)