Chinese operator CNOOC Ltd claimed it made five commercial oil and gas discoveries in the western South China Sea in 2018, mostly in the gas-prone Qiongdongnan basin, which hosts the giant Lingshui deep-water gas field, writes Xu Yihe.

The company said in an internal newsletter that three of the finds are what it defines as medium-to-large fields that were discovered through appraisal drilling.

In the high-temperature high-pressure Ledong 10-1 area, CNOOC Ltd drilled the successful Ledong 10-1-6 appraisal well with the semi-submersible drilling rig Kan Tan 3, which hit 133 metres of net pay.