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China’s First Deepwater Oil Project Reaches Full Capacity

China has launched full-capacity production at its first independently developed deepwater oil project, which is located in the eastern section of the South China Sea, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) said in a statement sent to Global Times on Monday.

The Liuhua 16-2 oilfield cluster started production in September 2020, CNOOC said back then.

As part of the project, CNOOC plans to put into production and development a total of 26 wells via a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) and three underwater production systems, the Chinese offshore oil giant said. 

The Eastern South China Sea is one of CNOOC’s most important crude oil and natural gas producing areas, where crude is mostly of light to medium gravity.

As of the end of 2019, the reserves and production in the Eastern South China Sea reached 633.9 million BOE and 242,026 BOE/day, respectively, accounting for 12.2 percent of the company’s total reserves and approximately 17.4 percent of its production, CNOOC says.

Now at its full-capacity production, Liuhua 16-2 pumps around one-fifth of all the production in the eastern part of the South China Sea, CNOOC said today.

Peak production at the Liuhua 16-2 project is expected to be reached at around 15,070 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) in 2023.

At the end of June, CNOOC also started production from the first deepwater gas field it operates fully. The field is expected to yield some 4.39 billion cubic meters of natural gas, representing 2 percent of China’s total output.

The Chenhai-1 well was drilled at the Lingshui 17-2 field in the South China Sea and, according to CNOOC, could push its total natural gas production capacity to more than 13 billion cubic meters annually.

The launch of production from the Chenhai-1 well is part of CNOOC’s plan to boost offshore drilling considerably in a bid to increase the share of natural gas in its total output from 21 percent right now to half by 2035.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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