China's to drill in South China Sea
Beijing, May 7 (IANS) The first deep-water drilling rig developed in China will be put into service in the South China Sea Wednesday, the country's largest offshore oil producer said Monday.
The sixth-generation semi-submersible CNOOC 981 will begin operations in a sea area 320 km southeast of Hong Kong at a water depth of 1,500 meters, China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) said.
It will be the first independent deep-water oil drilling by a Chinese company, marking "a substantial step" made by the country's deep-sea oil industry, Xinhua quoted the company as saying.
About 70 percent of oil and gas reserves in the resource-rich South China Sea is contained in 1.54 million sq km of deep-water regions, or sea areas with depths of over 300 meters.
However, most of China's current offshore oil exploration is conducted less than 300 meters below the surface.
The South China Sea is estimated to have 23-30 billion tonnes of oil and 16 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, accounting for one-third of China's total oil and gas resources.
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