China’s first independent deepwater oil & gas project starts operating ahead of schedule

The Liuhua 21-2 oil field, located in the eastern South China Sea, has begun full-scale production, according to the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), which operates the offshore project.

The cluster’s daily production currently exceeds 14,000 cubic meters of oil, which reportedly makes up nearly one-fifth of the total production in the eastern section of the South China Sea.

Its maximum output reaches 4.5 million cubic meters of crude oil per year, which equals the annual gasoline consumption of more than 4 million cars, according to the company’s press release, seen by Global Times.

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The Liuhua 21-2 oil field, the nation’s first independent deepwater oil field group, includes Liuhua 16-2, Liuhua 20-2 and Liuhua 21-2.Discovered in 2014 and based 150 km (93 miles) south of China’s southernmost province Hainan, the oil field is the deepest-water project in China’s offshore exploration sector, with a depth of 412 meters.

CNOOC holds a 100% interest in the Liuhua 21-2 oil field. The company has also launched production at the “Deep-sea No. 1” gas field, the first major energy discovery made during China’s self-operated deep-water exploration.

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The Liuhua 21-2 project is expected to reach its peak production capacity of more than 15,000 barrels per day as soon as 2023. The oil field reportedly recovers associated gas through a light hydrocarbon recovery system to effectively reduce methane emissions.

Full-scale production at the Liuhua cluster and the Deep-sea No. 1 gas field is part of China’s broader move to improve national energy security as well as to boost the economic and social development at the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in southern China.

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