First Chinese deep-water rig in the South China Sea commences operations
An offshore drilling rig built by state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) in the South China Sea has just started its deep-water operations with plans to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Greater Bay Area in the future.
The rig which runs to a depth of 4,660 meters is the first Chinese-built deep-water rig and the first deep-sea well built in the eastern waters of the South China Sea. The completion of the rig represents a breakthrough for China and helps to narrow the gap between China and the Western countries in terms of drilling technologies and capabilities.
Once production starts at the rig, LNG will be transported to CNOOC’s gas terminal at the Gaolan port in Zhuhai where it will then supply energy to the Greater Bay Area. Being able to transport LNG by pipeline from CNOOC’s Zhuhai terminal to the Greater Bay Area will greatly reduce transport costs and create a reliable source of clean energy for the area’s development.
The South China Sea is believed to be home to rich energy reserves such as natural gas and oil with the US Energy Information Agency estimating about 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 11 billion barrels of oil to be stored in proved and probable reserves in the South China Sea.