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Image courtesy of CNOOC.

China’s CNOOC said Monday that a South China Sea deepwater natural gas discovery has certified proven reserves of 100 billion cubic meters.

The discovery was made at the Lingshui 17-2 well in August about 93 miles south of Hainan, China.

The well was tested to produce 56.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

China’s Ministry of Land & Resources have placed the field’s reserves at 100 billion cubic meters of gas, making the field one of the largest ever offshore China gas finds.

Analysts expect commercial development of the field to take multiple years.

“Despite the gas find, it may take at least four to five years from now before the field can contribute to domestic gas production due to a lack of existing infrastructure,” Nomura’s head of regional energy research Gordon Kwan told Reuters in August.