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SK Innovation announces oil discovery in the South China Sea

South Korea-based SK Innovation announced an oil discovery in the PRMB (Pearl River Mouth Basin) block 17/03 in the South China Sea. This marks SK Innovation’s first discovery in the area since its decision to push forward with offshore oil exploration projects as an operator in the South China Sea.


Since its signing of block 17/03 PSC in February 2015, SK Innovation has been focusing its technical capabilities on geological and geophysical surveys. In December 2017, it drilled its first exploration well into 2,014m depth and found 34.8m net oil pay. The oil production of the well was tested up to 3,750 barrels per day.

SK Innovation plans to drill follow-up appraisal wells to assess reserves and commerciality of the project.

SK Innovation currently holds 80% working interest in the block, and 20% is held by CNOOC, the Chinese stated-owned company specializing in offshore oil and gas.

The US EIA estimates the South China Sea contains approximately 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in proved and probable reserves. Conventional hydrocarbons mostly reside in undisputed territory. Click to enlarge.

SK Innovation first started its oil and gas business in 1983 by acquiring interests in Karimun Block, Indonesia, and has been focused mainly on conventional oil and gas in areas such as Peru, Vietnam and Middle East. In 2014, it acquired two unconventional oil and gas assets in the US which currently produce around 2,500 boe/d.

SK Innovation’s net reserves amount to 530 mmboe with daily production at 55 kboe from 13 blocks in 9 countries globally. In the South China Sea, SK Innovation holds operatorship (exploration) for two additional PSCs: 04/20 and 17/08.



Adjacent countries will fight for years for Oil & Gas in the South China Sea?

China, with its fast growing economics and very large population , may be the natural winner?

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