Beijing OKs CNOOC South China Sea Gas Find

CNOOC South China Sea
Offshore coiled tubing operation. Source: CNOOC

Beijing has confirmed the CNOOC South China Sea gas and condensate discovery, Baodao 21-1, in the Baodao Sag, Qiongdongnan Basin, in the Western South China Sea.

CNOOC Limited (China National Offshore Oil Company) announced on 19 October that the Chinese government had completed its review of the discovery at the Baodao 21-1 gas field and had booked its likely in-place reserves. The discovery was made in water depths ranging from 660 to 1,570 meters with the main gas-bearing layer found in the Paleogene Lingshui formation.

The CNOOC South China Sea exploraiton well Baodao 21-1-1 encountered a 113-meter pay zone after having drilled to a depth of 5,188 meters. The well was tested to produce an average of 587,000 cubic metres of natural gas per day. Chinese governmental bodies reviewed the discovery and certified proven in-place reseserves of natural gas and condensate at over 50 bcm and 3 mcm respectively.

the Baodao 21-1 gas-bearing structure will host the first deep-water deep-stratum large gas field in the South China Sea, realising the biggest discovery in more than half a century in Songnan-Baodao Sag. It will lay a solid foundation for the construction of a gas production base of trillions of cubic meters of resources in the South China Sea, as noted in the Chinese’s governments review and filing of the exploration potential of this structure.

Zhou Xinhuai, the Chief Executive Officer of the Company said, “Exploration has always been a priority for CNOOC Limited. We have accelerated the pace to explore in deep waters, targeting the discovery of large and medium-sized oil and gas fields. We emphasised geological theory and technological researches, to make breakthroughs and to bolster our efforts in reserves and production growth.”

In its 2022 Strategy Preview published inn January, CNOOC described its gas exploration strategy as reliying on the development of Lingshui 17-2 large deepwater gas field to promote efficient exploration
and development of adjacent gas discoveries.

The Baodao 21-1 gas field is one of four targets identified in the preview along with rolling exploration around the Yinggehai gas field. CNOOC’s third target was to add a further 100 bcm of onshore reserves from unconventional reservoirs while also actively promoting the integration of exploration and
development to certify reserves in Shenfu area.