SAN RAMON -- Chevron said Wednesday its China subsidiary has gained access to more than 2,200 square miles of crude oil production acreage off the coast of China.

The Chevron unit has entered into production sharing contracts with China National Offshore Oil Corp., or CNOOC, for two exploration blocks offshore. The blocks are in the Pearl River Mouth Basin of the South China Sea.

San Ramon-based Chevron said its unit, Chevron China Energy, will hold a 100 percent interest in the two blocks.

During the exploration phase, Chevron China Energy will be the operator of the two blocks.

The blocks are in shallow water and cover an area of about 2,233 square miles.

"Exploration of these blocks builds on our strategy to grow our business across the Asia Pacific region," said George Kirkland, Chevron's vice chairman.

Besides China and other parts of the region, Australia is a major area of exploration, development and production operations for Chevron. The company has major liquefied natural gas operations in western Australia.

"We are developing LNG, deepwater, shale and sour gas resources" in the Asia-Pacific region, said George Kirkland, Chevron's vice chairman.

Contact George Avalos at 408-373-3556 or 925-977-8477. Follow him at twitter.com/george_avalos.