Chinese operator CNOOC Ltd has reached first gas at its giant Lingshui 17-2 deep-water gas field in the Qiongdongnan basin of the South China Sea.

Lingshui 17-2 is being exploited by an 11-well subsea production system provided by Aker Solutions, with one manifold in the west and three in the east of the field.

All the wells are tied back to a semi-submersible production platform built by China’s Offshore Oil Engineering Company.

The 22 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) Lingshui 17-2 development is set for peak gas flow of 3.5 billion cubic metres per annum.

CNOOC Ltd pegs Lingshui 17-2’s reserves at about 136 Bcm of recoverable gas, with initial production forecast to be 3.25 Bcma of gas and 1400 cubic metres (8806 barrels) per day of condensate.