CNOOC begins oil production at Huizhou-Xijiang

China National Offshore Oil Co. (CNOOC) has begun production from the Huizhou 25-8 oilfield and Xijiang 24-3 oilfield in the South China Sea, known as the Xijiang 24-1 District joint development project.

Xijiang 24-3 facility. Photo from CNOOC.

The project is located in the Pearl River Mouth basin, where the average water depth is about 100m, and it includes two drilling and production platforms and 29 producing wells.

Currently, four wells are producing about 6300bo/d, and the project is expected to reach peak production of about 33,000bo/d in 2016.

The Huizhou 25-8 oilfield and Xijiang 24-3 oilfield share one floating production, storage and offloading unit (FPSO).

CNOOC operates the Huizhou-Xijiang project and holds 100% equity interest.


In 1981, the Chinese government awarded a block in the South China Sea Pearl River Mouth Basin to Phillips Petroleum Co., and Phillips subsequently became the first foreign operator to assist in making an offshore discovery in China, in 1983. 

In 1992, Phillips signed agreements with the Chinese government and Shell Pecten to develop the Xijiang 24-3 and 30-2 fields.

The Xijiang 24-3 oilfield finally started production in November 1994, operated by Phillips China Inc. In July 1997, Phillips used extended reach drilling (ERD) in the Xijiang 24-1 well and set a world record for horizontal displacement of 8063m.

By 2002, the field was producing 30 MMbo annually. By July 2004, the Xijiang production team achieved a record of 90,745 bo/d. ConocoPhillips says Xijiang was the top oil producer among China's offshore oilfields for five consecutive years.

On 3 December 2004, ConocoPhillips celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its Xijiang operations, having produced twice the amount estimated in the project’s overall development plan.

By June 2008, cumulative production at the Xijiang oilfields reached a milestone of 366 MMbo.

In January 2010, the operatorship of Xijiang 24-3 and 24-1 fields transferred to CNOOC Ltd.

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