China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) may make a US$450 million bid for a 16.67% share in an Australian oil project currently owned by Royal Dutch Shell, the South China Morning Post reported. The European oil company is interested in selling its stake in the Cossack Pioneer project, which pumps 100,000 barrels a day from oilfields in the Northwest Shelf region. CNOOC is said to have appointed Australian investment bank Macquarie to arrange the bid, although neither party would comment on the issue. BP and Chevron also have financial interests in Cossack Pioneer, as do Woodside Petroleum of Australia, mining firm BHP Billiton and a Japanese joint venture between Mitsubishi and Mitsui. In July, CNOOC moved to strengthen its Australian interests by purchasing a permit to explore for oil off the country's west coast.