This paper introduces a significant activity by China oilfield Services Ltd. (COSL) in the South China Sea recently. Both a pre trial well and a trial well were carried in South China Sea in June of 2008 and April of 2009 using the artificial seabed technology. The authors will discuss the research effort and testing of a new method which is to use the artificial seabed technology to extend the water depth drilling capability of existing drilling vessels. Deepwater drilling activities in the world have been increased significantly in the last 10 years and there are only a few drilling vessels or platforms that are suitable to drill in deep to ultra deepwater. China also needs to improve her deepwater drilling capability to carry out the future deepwater exploration and production. COSL has several drilling semi-submersibles Which are suitable to operate at water depths less than 475 m. A new technology using the artificial seabed has been researched and improved by COSL since 2004, with cooperation of many deepwater experts. COSL has plans to drill wells in approximate 1000 to 1500 m of water. The paper will present the progress of this research and development effort and the associated equipment upgrade required to extend the deepwater drilling capability. A pretrial well and trial well was executed successfully by COSL in the South China Sea in June 2008 at a water depth near 500 m. A subsequent trial had just completed at April 2009 at the same location in the South China Sea.


China has been producing and importing a large amount of oil/gas every year to satisfy the domestic consumption. The oil companies and service companies have continued to extend their technologies and capabilities to explore new frontier oilfields both offshore and onshore to increase production.

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