Liwan 3-1 is part of the Liwan gas project, located 300 km (186 mi) southeast of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which also includes the Liuhua 34-2 and Liuhua 29-1 fields. All three fields share a subsea production system, subsea pipeline transportation, and onshore gas processing infrastructure.
DeepOcean began works on the project for COOEC Subsea in March 2012. Its MSV Volantis and UT-1, a free-flying jet trencher, conducted trenching and survey operations over 160 km (99 mi) of the 30-in. Liwan Pipeline that connects the Liwan Central Platform (CEP) in 200 m (656 ft) of water to the shore at China National Offshore Oil Corp.'s (CNOOC’s) Gaolan gas plant.
Prior to trenching, activities included construction work involving crossings along the pipeline route using WROVs and technicians onboard the Volantis to deploy over 100 mattresses along the pipeline in preparation for the lay campaign. Trenching activities with the UT-1 and dedicated crew achieved burial depths along the route to 2.5 m (8 ft) below the seabed for the large-diameter pipeline.
Upon completion of trenching in August 2013 in the shallow-water section of the project for COOEC Subsea, the Volantis was contracted by Saipem to perform subsea field development activities in the deepwater section of the Liwan 3-1 field, operating ROVs in excess of 1,400 m (4,593 ft) of water depth.