The following is based on a translation of a report in Chinese media:
The “9” in 981 means drilling ship, “8” means deep water while “1” means it is the first of its kind.
The report says that China is building three other similar large deep water oil rigs that will respectively be called HD-982, HD-983 and HD-984.
A Global Times reporter recently visited the HD-981 and said that the oil rig operated 24 hours a day all the year round with 93% rate of operation.
That means that the four rigs will be exploring oil in deep water on a large scale.
The oil rig can operate at a maximum depth of 3,000 meters and drill to a depth of 10,000 metres, more than enough to carry out exploration for oil and gas in the entire South China Sea.
The report says that all those oil rigs are owned by China’s state-owned oil giant CNOOC, which has a fleet of 57 ships including other oil rigs for drilling in areas less than 505 meters deep, a deep water pipe laying ship, a deep-water physical survey ship and supply ships.
For such large-scale oil and gas exploration and exploitation, China will definitely need the artificial islands it has built to support the operation.
The report says that there will be a supply ship for each rig to provide 40 tons of fresh water a day, fuel for the 8 diesel engines and supplies for the drilling operation and the daily necessities for the live of the 170 crew on the rig.
Of the 8 engines, 4 generate electricity for daily consumption of the rig and 4 are standby – when the rig moves to a new area, the engines each have the power of 5 locomotives, and drive the rig at a speed of 8 knots.
According to the report, when construction of the rig was finished, the rig went through state inspection and tests and was found up to advanced world standards and regarded as the world leader in some advanced technology.
The drilling in the disputed waters with Vietnam by its Haiyang Shiyou (Ocean Oil) 981 (HD-981) oil rig gave rise to a standoff between Chinese and Vietnamese boats and mass attacks against Chinese enterprises in Vietnam.
Source: Global Times: Drilling platform 981 with world advanced technology that gives surreal impression like a transformer (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
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