Engineers conduct tests at the Baodao 21-1 gas field. /CNOOC

A Chinese oil company has claimed finding the country’s first “deep-deep” gas field in western South China Sea with a reserve of over 50 billion cubic meters.

The gas field, named “Baodao 21-1,” was discovered after drilling 5,188 meters into the seabed, 1,570 meters from the water surface.

Common definition of a deep-water gas field requires the field to be more than 300 meters under water, and a gas well as deep as 3,500 meters can be called a deep well.

The Baodao 21-1 gas field meets both definitions, thus can be called a deep-deep field.

Engineers conduct tests at the Baodao 21-1 gas field. /CNOOC

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the company that made the discovery, said their well has been tested to produce “an average of 587,000 cubic meters of natural gas per day.”

Fifth attempt

CNOOC made the discovery during their fifth attempt to explore the Baodao Sag. The previous four attempts all failed.

“This discovery not only proved the potentials of the Baodao Sag,” Wu Keqiang, chief geologist at CNOOC’s Hainan branch, told China Energy News. “But also marked an important breakthrough in our exploring technologies.”


Engineers work at the discovery well of Baodao 21-1. /CNOOC

“We have accelerated the pace to explore in deep waters, targeting the discovery of large and medium-sized oil and gas fields,” said Zhou Xinhuai, CEO of the company.