Chinese operator CNOOC Ltd has completed drilling of the first production well at its deep-water Lingshui 17-2 gas play in the South China Sea's Qiongdongnan basin.

It is the first of 11 horizontal well to be drilled by semi-submersible rig Bluewhale 1 and had a depth of 4200 metres and a horizontal extension of more than 1000 metres. The water depth was 1262 metres.

Drilling started in December last year and will continue till the third quarter of 2021 before first oil expected, which is expected in the fourth quarter next year.