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Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP today announced that a class action has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of CNOOC Limited American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”) during the period between January 27, 2011 and September 16, 2011.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than 60 days from today. If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff’s counsel, Darren Robbins of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via e-mail at If you are a member of this class, you can view a copy of the complaint as filed or join this class action online at Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.

The complaint charges CNOOC and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. CNOOC is China’s biggest offshore state oil company. CNOOC co-owns the Penglai 19-3 (“PL 19-3”) oilfield in northern Bohai Bay with ConocoPhillips China Inc. (“ConocoPhillips”) as its operator.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business and financial results. As a result of defendants’ false statements, CNOOC’s ADSs traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, reaching a high of US$270.64 per ADS on April 4, 2011.

On June 4, 2011, an oil spill occurred at the PL 19-3 oilfield. A second spill occurred at the PL 19-3 oilfield on June 17, 2011. The complaint alleges that CNOOC and ConocoPhillips failed to disclose the spills when they occurred. However, despite CNOOC’s attempts to conceal the news, news of the spills began to leak into the market. On July 5, 2011, the State Oceanic Administration (“SOA”), China’s coastal regulator, officially acknowledged the spills had occurred. Thereafter, CNOOC downplayed the extent of the damage done by the oil spills and the impact it would have on CNOOC’s operations. On September 2, 2011, the SOA announced that it had ordered CNOOC and ConocoPhillips to immediately suspend all oil production at the PL 19-3 oilfield. On September 6, 2011, it was announced that CNOOC and ConocoPhillips would establish a Bohai Bay fund to address the environmental impact of the oil spills. On this news, CNOOC’s ADSs declined US$9.39 per ADS on September 6, 2011. Then, on September 18, 2011, it was announced that CNOOC and ConocoPhillips would establish a second Bohai Bay fund. On this news, CNOOC’s ADSs declined another US$6.85 per ADS on September 19, 2011.

According to the complaint, the true facts, which were known by the defendants but concealed from the investing public during the Class Period, were as follows: (a) the Company was not in compliance with environmental laws and regulations; (b) as news of the oil spills emerged, the Company concealed the extent and severity of the oil spills; (c) as news of the oil spills emerged, the Company downplayed its responsibility to effect the cleanup of the oil spills as it portrayed itself as being the “non-operator” of the oilfield; (d) the Company improperly accounted for its contingent liabilities in violation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles; and (e) based on the foregoing, defendants lacked a reasonable basis for their positive statements about the Company’s operations and its expected oil production.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of CNOOC ADSs during the Class Period (the “Class”). The plaintiff is represented by Robbins Geller, which has expertise in prosecuting investor class actions and extensive experience in actions involving financial fraud.

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