CNOOC has announced a significant discovery at the Kaiping South oilfield in the South China Sea.  

The discovery adds more than a 100mt of oil equivalent proved in-place volume. 

It is also said to be the country’s first deep-water and deep-play oilfield with proved in-place volume exceeding 100mt of oil equivalent. 

Situated in the eastern South China Sea, the Kaiping South oilfield has an average water depth of around 500m.  

The primary oil-bearing formations identified are the Zhuhai, Enping and Wenchang formations of the Paleogene period, which contain light crude oil.  

CNOOC drilled the discovery well, KP18-1-1d, to a depth of 3,462m and found 100.6m of oil and gas pay zones. 

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During testing, the well produced an average of approximately 7,680 barrels of crude oil and 0.52 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.  

The proven in-place volume of the Kaiping South Oilfield has now reached 102mt of oil equivalent through continued exploration. 

CNOOC CEO and president Zhou Xinhuai said: “In recent years, CNOOC has achieved remarkable breakthroughs in oil and gas exploration in the eastern South China Sea, building a new growth pole for offshore oil and gas production.  

“The company remains committed to oil and gas resources exploration and development in the South China Sea, thereby continuously enhancing its energy supply capacity.” 

Last month, CNOOC commenced production at the Suizhong 36-1/Luda 5-2 oilfield project in the Bohai Sea.  

For 2024, CNOOC has set a production target of 700–720mboe, with 69% coming from China and the remainder from overseas operations.  

The company has budgeted 125bn–135bn yuan ($17.63bn–19.07bn) for capital expenditure in 2024, with allocations of 16% for exploration, 63% for development and 19% for production.