The Beibu Gulf Project consists of three oil fields in block 22/12, which is located about 60km from the southern coast of China and northwest of Hainan Island. The oil resources are located at depths of about 25m to 40m.
“CNOOC approved the overall development plan (ODP) and investment plan for the project in 2011. The cost is estimated at $300m.”
The project will involve development of the three oil fields namely 6.12, 6.12 south and 12.8 west.
Companies involved in the Beibu Gulf development are China National Offshore Oil (CNOOC) (51%), Roc Oil (19.6%), Horizon Oil (Beibu) (14.7%), Petsec Petroleum (12.25%) and Oil Australia (Majuko Corp) (2.45%).
In June 2011, Petsec Petroleum was planning to sell its assets in the field to Horizon Oil for A$38m. ROC Oil has been making the discoveries and appraising the Beibu Gulf oil field since 2002.
In the second quarter of 2011, CNOOC took over the operator responsibilities on behalf of the Beibu Gulf project joint venture.
CNOOC already has infrastructure and facilities that will aid in synergy and cost efficiency. CNOOC created a subsidiary called the Weizhou Operating Company to operate the project.
The basic engineering design for pipelines and platform facilities was completed by the third quarter of 2011.
The project is currently in the detailed engineering design and lead equipment bidding phase. The drilling and field development programmes are planned in 2012 and 2013. First oil is anticipated by the end of 2012.
Geology of the oil fields in block 22/12
The waxy crude oil reservoirs range from light to heavy and medium to low viscous. The geology varies from eocene-age fluvial-lacustrine sandstones of luishagang formation and jiaowei shallow marine sandstones of miocene-age, to Weizhou sandstones of oligocene-age. The Wei 6.12 south field was discovered in 2002.
Reserves and development of the Beibu Gulf project
Block 22/12 has estimated potential gross reserves of 100MMbbl. The reserves lie in eight prospective undrilled sites.
“In June 2011, Petsec Petroleum was planning to sell its assets in the field to Horizon Oil for A$38m. ROC Oil has been making the discoveries and appraising the Beibu Gulf oil field.”
The 12.8 west and 6.12 south oil fields are expected to have gross oil reserves ranging between 20 to 40 million barrels (Mmbbl). Total permitted area for oil mining is 82.1kmÂ².
The 22/12 block consists of six oil discoveries (12.2.1, 12.3.1, 12.8.1, and 12.8.2), made in the 1980s and 1990s. Roc Oil drilled six exploration wells in the block since 2002.
Potential but undeveloped fields in the block include Wei 12-8 west, Wei 12-3, Wei 6-12, Wei 12-8 east and Wei 6-12 south. The Wei 6-12 oil field was drilled in 2002. The Wei 12-8 east oil field was drilled in 2004.
An exploration well named Wei 6-12S-1 was drilled in April / May 2006, which confirmed the presence of significant oil reserves in the project area. It was followed by an appraisal programme comprising of two sidetrack wells and a three week production testing. The programme indicated availability of high quality oil.
A feasibility study for the field development was completed in January 2007 and the 6-12 / 6-12 south oil fields were declared commercial.
The Wei 6-12, Wei 6-12S and Wei 12-8 oil fields were declared commercially viable in September 2008. The feasibility studies were completed in the second quarter of 2009.
CNOOC approved the overall development plan (ODP) and investment plan for the project in January 2011. The project cost is estimated at $300m.
The development is subject to approval of the ODP and investment by the Chinese Government Authorities. The final investment decision (FID) was made in February 2011.
The development works will include drilling of 11 development wells and three to four exploration wells.
Production by CNOOC at the Beibu oil fields
The Beibu Gulf project is expected to start production by the end of 2012.
The three fields will have remote wellhead platforms, which will be connected to a new 20,000bbld of oil processing platform through pipelines.
The WZ 6-12 wellhead platform is planned to be installed in the second quarter of 2012. Four in-field appraisal wells are planned to be drilled in the block thereafter. They will be used for production in the future.
CNOOC will develop the new processing platform adjacent to its existing 12.1.1 platform area.
The processed oil will be transported to the storage and export terminal located at Weizhou Island via pipelines. The 32km, 16-in pipeline is also owned and operated by CNOOC.