Spill inquiry could delay Beibu Gulf field start-up offshore China

Preparations are under way for the WZ 6-12 and WZ 12-8 West oil field development in the Beibu Gulf offshore China.

Offshore staff

SYDNEY, Australia – Preparations are under way for the WZ 6-12 and WZ 12-8 West oil field development in the Beibu Gulf offshore China.

According to partner Roc Oil, basic engineering design for platform and pipeline facilities is 100% complete, with award of the detail design contract pending.

The overall project was around 8% complete at the end of September. A fabrication contract for the platforms has been signed with CNOOC subsidiary COOEC; the offshore installation contract is in the final stages of negotiation; and development programs are being put together for 2012 and 2013. Three of four planned appraisal wells are due to be drilled from the WZ 6-12 wellhead platform following its installation next spring.

First oil is due prior to end-2012, however there could be delays following nationwide reviews by China’s State Oceanic Administration into offshore operations, triggered by an incident in June at the ConocoPhillips-operated Penglai 19-3 oil field in Bohai Bay.

As for the Zhao Dong oil fields in Bohai Bay, nine producer and two injector wells have so far been drilled since the latest development phase started in April. Six more producers and three further injectors are to come. Four of the in-place producer wells (including the well in the Zhanghai block) were drilled from the C4 field platform location.

Zhanghai block appraisal well (ZD CP2N-H-1), drilled from C4 in mid-July, intersected 310 m (1,017 ft) of horizontal reservoir section. It was completed and production has since started through existing C4 facilities.

PetroChina exercised its rights under the PSC to participate with a 51% interest in the Zhanghai and Chenghai blocks. ROC now holds 39.2% and Sinochem the remaining 9.8%.

In the Australian sector, activities to prepare the ROC-operate Basker-Manta-Gummy (BMG) oil and gas fields offshore Victoria for the non-production phase continue. Recent achievements include engineering of the BMG offshore deconstruct; contract tendering for trenching, and well intervention activities, scheduled for early 2012; and implementation of a monitoring and inspection program.

Evaluation of options for a separate Phase-II gas and oil development continues, although ROC is pursuing the divestment of its interest in the BMG fields.


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