China will formally employ its first home-made, deep-sea semi-submersible drilling platform in the east part of South China Sea on May 9, marking the beginning of the country's deepwater oil strategy, the National Energy Administration said.
Ocean Oil 981 will be used to drill the Liwan 6-1-1 well, which has water depth of 1,500 metres (5,000 feet) and designed well depth of 2,371 metres (7,780 feet).
The drill is scheduled to take 56.5 days.
Ocean Oil 981, the construction of which took six years, was towed to the east part of South China Sea on Feb. 21 and drilled the Liuhua 29-2-1 well in a trial operation, the administration said.
The Lianhua 29-2-1 has designed well depth of 3,230 metres in ocean waters with depth of 753.3 metres.
State-run China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is the owner and operator of the deep-sea rig.