(Yicai Global) Sept. 27 -- China International Marine Containers Raffles Oceanographic Engineering Co. (CIMS Raffles), owned by China International Marine Containers Group Co. [SHE:000039], has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation subsidiary CNPC Offshore Engineering Co. to develop natural gas hydrate resources in the South China Sea and reach a pilot production stage, Chinese news outlet The Paper reported on Sept. 27.
The parties will work together on contracting management, design, construction and operations to expand in the global deep-water drilling market, as well as in the South China Sea.
Both companies regard the deal as an opportunity to grasp a historical chance to explore and develop natural gas hydrate, CNPC Offshore said. The firms will share resources, complement each other's competitive advantages and develop markets domestically and overseas for oceanographic engineering work, the report said.
Natural gas hydrate, also known as combustible ice, is an ice-like crystalline material formed by water and natural gas under high-pressure and low-temperature conditions. It features high-level combustion, low-pollution and is generally seen as a strategic alternative energy source in the future.