The Qiongdongnan Basin is a Cenozoic fault-depression basin in the northern South China Sea. Water depths can be up to 3,000 metres, although most historic exploration has focused on the Tertiary Shelf oil play. Exploration of the basin’s deepwater potential began in the 2000s when blocks were offered for IOC cooperation for the first time. Apart from Husky Energy, all foreign companies that entered the basin at this time have relinquished their deepwater acreage after disappointing well results. Interest could pick up in the area again following upstream industry reform in China and a new offshore bidding round in late 2019/2020.