After 21 months of construction, China's Deep-Water No.1 semi-submersible production and storage platform is finally on its way to where it'll serve the country's first deep water gas field in the South China Sea.
The gas field, which is called the Lingshui 17-2, is 150 kilometers away from the city of Sanya in Hainan Province and lies at a depth of 1500 meters. Both these facts pose new challenges and uncertainties.
General Director of the project You Xuegang said special designs have been used to help the platform better adapt to the environment.
YOU XUEGANG General Director, Lingshui 17-2 Project "These four pillars as you can see are used for oil storage. This is the first of its kind in the world. It can store a maximum of 20-thousand cubic meters of oil for 10 days, allowing extra time for delivery vessel to carry the oil back on land 1500 km away."
The platform is also designed to resist oxidation and the toughest typhoon, and should be able to work in the field for at least 30 years without needing to return to dry dock.
CAO BING Yantai, Shandong Province "This platform weighs in at an impressive 50-thousand tonnes. So building it was obviously not an easy task, especially given the challenges such as a severe cold snap, limited time and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But none of those were allowed to get in the way of completing the project and meeting all important quality standards."
LI JUN Project Manager, China Classification Society "The China Classification Society carried out a strict quality checking process for the project. Let's take this weld for example, it is a full 600 km in length, and we checked all of it centimeter by centimeter and it's all very well done. Only in this way can we achieve smooth operation of the project."
It'll take a month long voyage for the platform to arrive in Hainan. It's expected to begin operation in June, to provide 3 billion cubic meters of gas for households in South Hainan Province and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
YOU XUEGANG General Director, Lingshui 17-2 Project "This project is a test for our design level, our shipbuilding level, as well as deep water project management."
You says despite difficulties and challenges ahead, there is no doubt that China has taken a solid first step towards deep-water oil exploration.