China CNPC spends $500 mln for Mongolia oil drilling

BEIJING, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Chinese oil major CNPC has earmarked half a billion dollars this year for oil drilling in Mongolia, but has so far only made a small discovery, a Mongolia government official said on Friday.

"Altogether, 26 blocks have been taken by companies including Sinopec and CNPC, but the discoveries they've made are minor and are not economically viable to develop," Temuulen Ganzorig, deputy director of Erdenes MGL, a Mongolian state company, told a forum in Beijing.

Both Sinopec and CNPC entered into production sharing contracts with Mongolia a few years ago to explore for oil in eastern and southern parts of the country, he added.

The official said the government might open three new oil blocks to foreign companies, but he did not provide a timetable.

CNPC, parent of Asia's largest oil and gas producer PetroChina (0857.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), secured a $30 billion state loan last month to fund overseas expansion, as Beijing seeks to secure resources for the world's fastest-growing major economy. (Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Chris Lewis) (eadie.chen@reuters.com; +8610 6627 1268; Reuters Messaging: eadie.chen.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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