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China begins deepwater oil strategy

03rd May 2012

China has officially begun its strategy for deepwater exploration drilling 1,500 below an area in the South China Sea

China for the first time has begun explorng hydrocarbons in the South China Sea

A deep-sea semi-submersible drilling platform will be employed in the South China Sea next week, marking the start of the country’s first foray into deepwater oil exploration.

An eastern part of the much disputed region will be drilled on 9 May by Ocean Oil 981. The drill was towed to the region in February and is the first semi-submersible self-propelled engineering vessel in the world. It took six years to build the home-made 5,000 tonne technology.

The Liwan 6-1-1- well lies 1,500 m under the sea, according to China’s National Energy Administration, which announced the news this week.
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The drill is scheduled to take 56.5 days. State-run China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is the owner and operator of the deep-sea rig.

CNOOC in April signed a production sharing contract (PSC) with Eni China B.V. for a deepwater block in the Sea. The area has long been a point of controversy, with several regions claiming territorial ownership of certain parts.

Despite objections from China, Indian oil giant ONGC has initiated a partnership with a Vietnamese company to launch joint exploration for oil in the region.

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