China discovers Malampaya-like gas field in South China Sea

Chinese government-run news outlet, Global Times, reports China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) announced that China’s first deepwater gas field in the South China Sea has proven reserves of more than 100 billion cubic meters. CNOOC is China’s largest producer of offshore gas. In contrast, Malampaya gas field has 105 billion cubic meters estimated gas in place when it was discovered.

The gas field, Lingshui 17-2, is located 150 kilometers south of Hainan Province. The field is estimated to provide 3.5 to 4 billion cubic meters in an annual basis, a representative from CNOOC said. “This figure is relatively conservative.”

China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation reports China consumed 180 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2014.

One of the known reasons for disputes in South China Sea is the reserves believed to be beneath it. China claims virtually the entire South China Sea including waters inside Philippine maritime borders.