China's deepsea gas find holds over 100 bcm reserves: State media

BEIJING - A deepsea natural gas discovery in the northern part of the South China Sea has certified proven reserves exceeding 100 billion cubic metres, making it one of China's biggest offshore finds, Chinese state television reported.

Offshore oil and gas specialist CNOOC Ltd announced the discovery last August after striking high flows of gas in the Lingshui 17-2 well, with per day production of 56.5 million cubic feet.

The well, at operational depth of 1,500 metres under the sea, was located about 150 kilometres (94 miles) south of the Chinese island province of Hainan.

The Ministry of Land & Resources has now estimated the reserves at 100 bcm, according to state television. The report said it would be one of the largest gas finds for offshore China, and would mark a breakthrough in drilling high-temperature and high-pressure reservoirs.

Analysts have said commercial development of the field would take years, and CNOOC Ltd's latest plan to slash capex to counter low oil prices could affect drilling programs of more costly deepwater wells.