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CNOOC Installs China's Largest Oil Platform Yet in S. China Sea

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Published May 23, 2021 8:22 PM by The Maritime Executive

The China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) has finished installing its Lufeng 14-4 platform in the South China Sea, the company informed investors last week. 

Lufeng 14-4 is located within China's EEZ at a position about 110 nm southeast of Hong Kong. The 15,000 tonne jacket was installed in March, and the topside installation was accomplished by floatover using a heavy lift barge. According to CNOOC, it is China's largest independently designed and built offshore oil platform ever. 

The field's development has been a long time coming. CNOOC discovered oil at the Lufeng 14-4 field in late 2014, hitting oil at about 13,500 feet in 475 feet of water. First oil at the Lufeng 14-4 field is expected by the end of this year, and the new platform will also be used to develop the adjacent Lufeng 14-8 field. 

According to CNOOC, the Paleogene resource in the Pearl River Mouth basin is largely made up of low-permeability reservoirs, which are often challenging to develop. About half of China's known reserves are accounted for by low-permeability reservoirs. 

In December, the Trump administration designated CNOOC as a firm "owned or controlled" by China's People's Liberation Army, banning U.S. investment in the company. On February 26, the NYSE began the process of delisting the company from the New York Stock Exchange. The stock's final trade on the "Big Board" occurred on March 8.