China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) signed a production-sharing contract with South Korea’s SK Innovation Co. to explore a block in the South China Sea, its listed unit CNOOC Ltd. said in a statement on Sept. 5.

Block 17/08 is located in the Pearl River Mouth Basin and covers an area of 466 sq km, with water depths ranging between 100 m and 130 m.

SK, South Korea’s largest refiner, will carry out exploration in the block and bear all the expense during the exploration phase. If a discovery is made and development starts, CNOOC will have the right to take up to a 51% participating interest in any commercial production.

The companies signed similar contracts in 2015 to develop blocks 04/20 and 17/03 in same basin of the South China Sea.

CNOOC, according to its website, is looking for foreign partners to explore and develop 22 blocks this year.