9. CNOOC ( CEO) is an investment holding company engaged in the exploration, development, production and sale of crude oil, natural gas and other petroleum products.

On a year-to-date basis, the company gained 49.9%, touching 52-week highs in December. In comparison, counterparts BP ( BP) lost 23.9%. PetroChina ( PTR) and China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP) gained 6% and 5.2%, respectively, on a year-to-date basis.

For the third quarter, net production zoomed 48.8% year-over-year, while revenue surged 63.8%, driven by higher realized oil prices. During October, CNOOC acquired a 33.3% stake in Chesapeake Energy's ( CHK) Eagle Ford project, for $1.08 billion. During December, the company signed a deal with the Brisbane-based oil and gas exploration company, Exoma Energy, for selling a 50% interest in its gas exploration permits in Queensland's Galilee Basin. CNOOC also has the option to acquire 86.6 million ordinary Exoma shares at 31.1 cents per share and an additional option to acquire ordinary shares, expiring Dec. 31, 2012. As per the company statistics, for the first time, the CNOOC Group recorded annual output exceeding 50 million metric tonnes of oil and gas equivalent.

For full-year 2010, the company estimates production to range between 275 million to 290 million barrels of oil equivalent, up 21%-28% year-over-year. As the South China Sea offers great potential, the company expects to strengthen its deepwater exploration and develop the region's abundant resources. During May 2010, the company announced a $439 million private equity fund along with General Electric ( GE), with each partner holding a 50% stake. The investment would be used for financing projects in several sectors including domestic and global energy projects.

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