China's QHD 32-6 Field Expected to Start by Year-End

At a ceremony in Dalian, China, over the weekend, Chinese National Offshore Oil Company, Texaco and BP celebrated the completion of one of the world's largest floating production, storage and off-loading vessel's (FPSO) bringing its development of the Qinhuangdao (QHD) 32-6 field in Bohai Bay closer to realization. The vessel will be towed to its offshore field location in August for final hookup and offshore commissioning. Startup of the field is planned prior to year-end.

Named the "Bohai Shi Ji," which means "Bohai Century" in English, the FPSO hull was constructed by Dalian New Shipyard and topsides facilities were constructed by China Offshore Oil Engineering Company. The FPSO is designed to process approximately 80,000 barrels of oil per day, with oil storage capacity of 1 million barrels. CNOOC will be operator of the field with a 51 percent interest. BP and Texaco each have a 24.5 percent interest.

The QHD 32-6 field, discovered by CNOOC in 1995, is located approximately 155 miles southeast of Beijing in the Bohai Bay. The field lies 12 miles offshore in 65 feet of water. A unique design feature of the FPSO is the large size of the vessel, 287 meters long and 51 meters wide, combined with shallow draft of 14 meters.

"QHD is the first CNOOC operated foreign cooperation project and represents a new age of cooperation with China," said Robert A. Solberg, President of Texaco Commercial Development. "This world-class project demonstrates that value can be achieved by bringing together innovative technologies and teamwork."

Gary Dirks, President of BP China, said, "Achieving this milestone in the development of the QHD 32-6 project has required careful coordination and great attention to detail. Because of everyone's common understanding and commitment to the complex project management and construction techniques, we are able to bring Bohai Shi Ji to a successful completion."

The FPSO vessel will house all power generation and oil/water processing equipment; oil will be stored in the hull of the vessel, which will periodically be offloaded to oil tankers for export to markets.

Texaco China is part of the CACT Operators Group, which operates the Huizhou oil fields in the Pearl River Mouth area of the South China Sea. BP China currently operates China's largest offshore natural gas field, Yacheng 13-1, near Hainan Island in the South China Sea.