Chinese offshore operator CNOOC Ltd has started a drilling campaign to develop the Lingshui 25-1 deep-water gas field in the Qiongdongnan basin, in the South China Sea.

The first of the 12-well campaign was spudded last week, with total drilling depths expected to exceed 60,000 metres. The programme is being performed by the deep-water semi-submersible rig Hai Yang Shi You 982.

The 12 subsea trees will be provided by US contractor Baker Hughes, which will lease a workshop in Chengmai County in Hainan province for assembly.