China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) has won the right to conduct oil exploration in Somalia, the Financial Times reported. Given the current level of violence in Somalia as insurgents attempt to bring down the fragile interim government, the CNOOC deal is seen by some as further evidence of China's willingness to court controversy in the name of natural resources. US oil firms have not set foot in Somalia since the early 1990s. CNOOC was also responsible for building an oil pipeline in Sudan in the late 1990s despite an ongoing civil war. The company will survey for oil in the north Mudug region, 500 kilometers northeast of the capital, Mogadishu. Together with the smaller China International Oil and Gas group, CNOOC already has a production-sharing agreement with Somalia's government. Under the deal, the government will get 51% of oil revenues.