Chinese oil, nuclear companies to develop floating atomic platforms for offshore drilling


China National Offshore Oil Corp. and China General Nuclear Power Corp. will work together to develop nuclear technology for use in sea-based oil fields, the country’s biggest offshore explorer announced on Friday.

The state-owned companies signed the strategic cooperation framework on Jan. 14, China National Offshore said on its official Weibo account on Friday. CGN, China’s biggest nuclear power operator, announced on Jan. 12 that the government had approved construction of a demonstration floating nuclear reactor that could be used for offshore oil production.

“This partnership will push forward the organic integration of the offshore oil industry and the nuclear power industry,” China National Offshore said in the statement.

The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s economic planner, has urged CGN to speed up the pace of development of the floating reactor, known as the ACPR50S, the company said in its Jan. 12 statement. Construction of the demonstration reactor is expected to start next year, with it powering up by 2020, according to CGN.