Offshore gas field strengthens country's energy security
The Bozhong 19-6 offshore natural gas field was put into operation on Tuesday, underscoring the substantial growth and market potential of China's offshore oil and gas industry, experts said, as the country seeks to harness more energy from offshore sources.
The gas field, the largest such resource in China's Bohai Bay area, has an average water depth of about 20 meters and is expected to achieve peak production of around 37,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2024, according to its operator China National Offshore Oil Corp.
The project is the first condensate gas field, with a proved in-place volume of over 200 billion cubic meters of natural gas, that has been put into operation in Bohai Bay. The gas field will supply stable, clean energy to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and is greatly significant for ensuring China's energy security and optimizing the country's energy structure, CNOOC said.
Domestic oil and gas companies have been stepping up their efforts in upstream exploitation and exploration in recent years to reduce market volatility and maintain price stability against a backdrop of energy shortages globally, said Li Ziyue, an analyst with BloombergNEF.
The Bozhong field is the seventh-largest natural gas deposit in China and the largest offshore. Commissioning of the project will enhance gas supply and further accelerate the decarbonization process in China's northern region, Li said.
Domestic gas output is expected to play an even more important role in the years ahead as gas imports become more uncertain and volatile, she added.
The major production facilities of the project include a new central processing platform, three unmanned wellhead platforms and a natural gas processing terminal. It plans to put into production 65 development wells with a peak daily oil and gas production of more than 5,000 metric tons of oil equivalent, the company said.
According to CNOOC, the development of the first phase of the Bozhong 19-6 gas field was completely designed, constructed and operated independently by China, with a number of technological breakthroughs filling technological gaps in the development of domestic offshore oil and gas fields.
All 65 production wells adopt remote intelligent control for real-time monitoring of equipment and the operational status of its facilities, ensuring safe production control of unmanned platforms, it said.
CNOOC has ramped up efforts to increase domestic gas output in recent years, which is also in accordance with the government's goal to ensure domestic energy security.
The company has set a production target of a record 650 million to 660 million BOE in 2023, as part of its medium-term goal of a 6 percent increase in average annual production by 2025.