Chinese Offshore Oil Production: Hopes and Reality

Larry C. H. Chow*, Wing Yin Lo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


China started to develop its offshore oil resources in earnest in the early 1980s, when world oil price was high and projections about the potential of its offshore oil were extremely rosy. But as exploration and development efforts unfolded in the 1980s, disillusionment set in very quickly, given the mediocre amount of oil discoveries made. This article traces the development of the Chinese offshore oil industry from the early 1980s to 1998, with emphasis on the last ten years. Various aspects of development, including length of seismic survey lines undertaken, number of wells drilled, amount of oil discovered, amount of investments made, offshore fields developed, offshore production and revenue from oil sales are presented and analysed. Further, the article also discusses in detail the factors that contributed to the deflation of the high hopes relating to Chinese offshore production, with a final section taking a glimpse into the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-97
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of International Development and Cooperation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001


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