China’s first independent offshore oil project in full-capacity production

China’s largest offshore oil producer China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) on Monday announced that Liuhua 16-2 oilfield cluster, China’s first independent deepwater oil and gas project, is now in full-throttle production in the South China Sea.

CNOOC hailed the new progress at Liuhua 16-2 oilfield cluster as another major achievement after the production commenced at the “Deep-sea No 1” gas field, the first major oil and gas discovery made from China’s self-operated deep-water exploration.

Liuhua 16-2, now at full-capacity production, produces over 14,000 cubic meters of crude oil each day, or one-fifth of total production in the eastern section of the South China Sea.

The oilfield has a maximum output of 4.5 million cubic meters of crude oil annually, equivalent to one year’s gasoline consumption of more than 4 million cars, according to a press release CNOCC sent to the Global Times on Monday.

The project is expected to reach peak production of approximately 15,070 barrels of crude oil per day in 2023. Meanwhile, the oilfield recovers associated gas through a light hydrocarbon recovery system to effectively reduce methane emissions.

The cluster is located in eastern South China Sea, about 250 kilometers southeast of Shenzhen. The cluster includes Liuhua 16-2, Liuhua 20-2 and Liuhua 21-2 with an average depth of 412 meters, the deepest-water project in China’s offshore oil exploration sector.

The project is equipped with the FPSO (floating production storage and offloading) platform Haiyangshiyou119, which can process 21,000 cubic meters of crude oil and 540,000 cubic meters of natural gas per day, equivalent to the capacity of an onshore oil plant covering 300,000 square meters.

The production at Liuhua 16-2 oilfield cluster and the “Deep-sea No 1” gas field has further improved China’s proprietary engineering and technology buildup in deep-sea oil and gas exploration, the company said. It will also contribute to national energy security and the economic and social development at the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in South China.

China’s central government has asked state-owned oil companies to enhance oil exploration aimed at raising production.

“Deep-sea No 1” was discovered in August 2014 in the Lingshui area in the South China Sea, with a maximum depth of 1,500 meters.