China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) will support the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area by building two energy transmission networks consisting of a series of large natural gas and oil fields in the South China Sea.
The move will enhance China's energy security and help guarantee supplies, a Chinese analyst said Thursday.
It is expected that the networks will improve energy transmission for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, according to a statement by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council on Wednesday.
According to the statement, CNOOC has designated the South China Sea as the main field for oil and gas exploration and development, and it has formulated a strategy for deep-water exploration.
It plans to build a series of deep-water oil fields in the eastern part of the South China Sea in the next few years. It will also develop the first 100-billion-cubic-meter deep-water gas field in the western part of the South China Sea.
The statement noted that CNOOC has built two gas fields with an annual production capacity of 10 million tons in the western and eastern waters of the South China Sea. Since 2014, it has discovered the first group of deep-water gas fields in China, including Lingshui 17-2.
As of the end of 2018, CNOOC had 70 oil and gas fields in the South China Sea with cumulative oil production of more than 330 million tons and gas exceeding 130 billion cubic meters (bcm).
Lin Boqiang, a professor at Xiamen University in East China's Fujian Province, told the Global Times on Thursday that exploring energy resources in the South China Sea will enhance energy security in China, particularly in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, which will get first priority in using those resources.
CNOOC has supplied up to 18.2 bcm of natural gas to Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, accounting for more than 70 percent of the total natural gas consumption in the region.
Lin said China's energy supply is very dependent on imports amid an unstable international political situation, so the government is aiming to improve energy security by increasing domestic energy supplies.
"The more oil and gas China produces itself, the more secure its energy supply will be," Lin said.
On Thursday, Hong Kong-listed CNOOC shares rose 3.47 percent to HK$13.72 ($1.75).