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Tech innovations help CNOOC explore the deep blue sea

Writer: Zhang Yu  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2022-09-01

Within the CNOOC Building in Shenzhen, the first intelligent production command center of China’s offshore oil field projects was seen operating efficiently.

Screens of different sizes as well as real-time pictures and data were linked to various operation facilities 100-250 kilometers offshore, and the center’s staffers were keeping a close eye on the updates on the screens.

A scene of China’s largest self-designed oil rig — Lufeng 14-4 — at the South China Sea in this file photo taken in May last year. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sun Yuchen

On Aug. 24, Shenzhen Daily joined a media research team and visited the building in Nanshan District, a day before Typhoon Ma-on, the ninth typhoon of the year, made landfall on the coast of the city of Maoming in Guangdong Province.

According to CNOOC Ltd. Shenzhen, before Typhoon Ma-on landed, the company had organized offshore oil and gas field operators to evacuate in batches. In three days, over 4,100 offshore personnel were evacuated through 227 helicopter trips. All personnel of the CNOOC Enping oil field’s offshore facilities also returned to land safely.

At the same time, the CNOOC Enping oil field cluster realized normal oil field production under unmanned conditions during Typhoon Ma-on.

As of 6 p.m. Friday, the company’s “typhoon production mode” had operated for 75 hours, ensuring the continuous and stable operation of production facilities at full load under the threat of a typhoon. It helped avoid the loss of over 17,400 tons in crude oil output and created economic benefits of over 87 million yuan (US$12.57 million).

The CNOOC Enping oil field cluster is over 200 kilometers away from the southwest of Shenzhen. As a major oil production base in the South China Sea, it consists of three offshore production platforms and one floating production, storage and unloading device.

This year, the Enping oil field completed the transformation of its remote automatic control system, which marked the first time that China’s offshore oil fields were able to maintain unmanned production during typhoons.

Oriented towards digital transformation and intelligent development, CNOOC Ltd. regards high-quality development as its development theme during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) and an important path to promote the construction of a first-class enterprise.

As the largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas in China, the company is one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the world and mainly engages in exploration, development, production and sale of crude oil and natural gas.

Shenzhen is one of the first areas where CNOOC has aimed to build a strategic development base for China’s offshore oil industry. The oil fields in eastern South China Sea have become the main battlefields for China’s offshore oil industry to open up to the outside world.

According to CNOOC Ltd. Shenzhen, the company insists on taking innovation as its driving force. At present, it has mastered many key and core technologies of offshore oil and gas exploration and development with independent intellectual property rights, which can provide technical support for building Shenzhen into a global marine center.

“In the development of deep-water oil and gas fields, we have fully mastered the design and construction technology with a water depth of 500 meters. Relying on some major national scientific and technological research projects, we have been moving forward step by step from design to construction,” said Liang Wei, manager of CNOOC Ltd. Shenzhen’s science, technology and information department.

The company has also made major breakthroughs in deep and ultra-deep oil and gas exploration technology, and successfully discovered Huizhou 26-6 oil and gas field, the largest oil and gas field under self-exploration in the Pearl River estuary. It has been working to promote the development of Liuhua 16-2 oil field cluster, the first self-operated deep-water oil field cluster in China and established the deep-water oil and gas development mode of “FPSO + underwater production system.”

On July 15, 2022, the construction of “Haiji-1” platform was completed, which marked that the complete set of key technologies for the construction of super-large deepwater jacket in China has represented a leading level in Asia.

According to company data, by the end of 2021, the natural gas supplied by CNOOC accounted for 60% of the total consumption in Shenzhen and over 70% of that in Hong Kong.

In the first half of 2022, the total industrial output value of CNOOC Ltd. Shenzhen increased by 91% year on year, and the industrial added value increased by 84%, ranking second in Shenzhen and first in Nanshan. The company’s crude oil production grew by 14.7% year on year, hitting a record high.