China’s Largest Oil Production Rig Developed In South China Sea

June 1, 2021 Maritime Safety News

Last week, The China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) officially declared to their investors that they have completed the task of installing the proposed Lufeng 14-4 platform in the South China Sea.

It is one of the largest solely designed and planned offshore constructed oil platforms in China as per CNOOC. The boundaries of the Lufeng 14-4 is bound within China’s EEZ, with exact coordinates of 110 nautical miles offshore, in the southeast of Hong Kong. Installation of the 15,000-tonne jacket was completed way back in March, and recently, with the help of a heavy lift barge, installation of the topside was completed.

The development in this field was foreseen long back, which has now been accomplished. The presence of oil in the Lufeng 14-4 was identified back in 2014. The oil was spotted at a depth of 13,500 feet, at a water level of 475 feet. The first drop of oil from the Lufeng 14-4 field can be anticipated to be obtained by the end of this year. Simultaneously, the construction of the Lufeng 14-8 field adjacent to the prior, in the new platform will also be seen.

“Once operational, the platform would explore the Lufeng 14-4 and Lufeng 14-8 oilfields, and provide more natural gas and oil resources for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area,” said Gao Shuang (GD, CNOOC’s Lufeng oil complex project).

The Paleogene resource, located in the Pearl River Mouth basin, is enriched with low-permeability reservoirs. CNOOC, in a statement, marked these reservoirs as challenging in terms of development. It is also believed that nearly half of the known reserves of China are considered low-permeability reserves.

Last year in December, the administration under Trump banned any investment made by the U.S. on CNOOC. They also declared the CNOOC firm as an alliance “owned or controlled” by China’s People’s Liberation Army.

By the annual reports of CNOOC, they will be investing an approximated US $15.5 billion this year, which will aid in 19 more such projects.