(Bloomberg) -- Philippine upstream oil and gas company PXP Energy Corp. is in talks with another Chinese firm for potential exploration in the South China Sea, Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.

Talks were held one or two months ago, Pangilinan told reporters late Monday, without naming the company. Asked if it’s a Chinese state-owned company, he answered in the affirmative.

PXP is also pursuing to resume discussions with China National Offshore Oil Corp., he said, hoping to meet its officials when President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. visits Beijing in January.

PXP unit Forum Energy Ltd. holds Service Contract 72 to explore Reed Bank in the South China Sea, and was in talks to partner with CNOOC. The g in this area in April because of tensions between the Philippines and China in the disputed waters.overnment however suspended all exploration activities

Marcos earlier this month said his administration is thinking of ways to resolve stalled talks with China on oil exploration, including those that may not involve both governments. Still, PXP will await the Philippine government’s decision before it can proceed any exploration, Pangilinan said.

“We are just agents of the state. When you talk about sovereignty, that’s their purview. We have to respect that,” Pangilinan said. Marcos’s China visit would be a good time to discuss the matter, he said.

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