The first Chinese-manufactured and operated offshore drilling platform has started operations in the South China Sea in recent days, according to the China National Offshore Oil Corporation.
The deepwater rig, drilling down to 4,660 meters, will be used to supply liquified natural gas to the Greater Bay Area, referring to a megalopolis of nine cities and two administrative regions in South China: Hong Kong and Macau connected to the southern Chinese cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing.
"This is a common drilling operation used by the world's top offshore drilling companies in the United States, Britain and other Western countries. The completion of a deep-sea well like this indicates China is narrowing the gap with these Western countries," he added, cited by SCMP.
Once the rig starts producing LNG, it will be transported from the Gaolan port in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, around the region.
"If LNG can be directly transported to the Greater Bay Area by pipeline from CNOOC's terminal in Zhuhai, it will save a lot on transport costs for the power companies — and residents will also benefit," Han added.
The platform was originally located near the Paracel Islands in South China Sea claimed by Vietnam, but was later moved to its current location after it caused violent anti-Chinese protests across Vietnam in 2014. (April 15, 2019)
CHINA - LNG - Production