China National Offshore Oil Co. plans to boost its output to 120 million tonnes/year by 2030 from 2011 levels of 50.14 million tpy. Xiaojian Jin, CNOOC general manager for projects and construction and project manager for South China Sea deepwater development, while speaking May 1 at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, also said the company plans to become one of the 15 largest oil companies in the world over that timing.
Jin cited a 159% reserve replacement ratio in 2011 and 16 projects currently under construction offshore China as early indications of CNOOC’s progress toward meeting these goals. CNOOC will build 828 km of offshore pipeline in 2012 compared with 48 km in 2011, and 2,424 km during the current 2011-15, 5-year plan, compared with 1,766 between 2006 and 2010, Jin said, also noting that 42 subsea trees would be installed in the current plan compared with none in the preceding 5 years.
As complicating factors, Jin noted the South China Sea’s 12-typhoon/year average, with 22 in 2009, 12 affecting operations. He also pointed out subsea currents as strong as 1.6 m/sec which cause sand wave propagation as high as 330 m/year.
Jin listed six development strategies CNOOC would use in its South China Sea projects, with the water depth and distance from sure being the primary determining factors. For projects in less than 300 m of water and less than 300 km from shore CNOOC will use either a fixed platform in combination with an floating production, storage, and offloading vessel, a fixed platform with a pipeline to onshore treatment facilities, or a subsea production system (SPS) tied back to a floating structure.
For water depths of 300-3,000 m less than 500 km from shore, CNOOC will use and SPS tied back to a shallow-water platform. Jin noted this was the development scheme used for Liwan 3-1, which includes a 76-km deepwater pipeline from the production system back to a platform.
CNOOC-affiliate China Offshore Oil Engineering Co. Ltd. awarded a pipeline installation contract to Technip for Liwan 3-1’s shallow-water export line, covering 260-km between the Liwan gas platform and CNOOC’s onshore Gaolan gas plant (OGJ Online, Apr. 24, 2012).
Projects 500-1,000 km offshore will use either an SPS-floater-tieback combination or an SPS with an FPSO or floating LNG vessel, with projects outside of this zone using the SPS-floater combination exclusively.
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