State media says China has found more than 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the politically volatile South China Sea.

The natural gas was discovered at the Lingshui 17-2 gas field, 150 kilometers south of China's southernmost island of Hainan.

The Xinhua News Agency said the Ministry of Land and Resources has approved it as a large-scale gas field. It cited the country's main offshore oil and gas producer, China National Offshore Oil Corp.

Xizhou Zhou, senior director and head of China for IHS Energy, says that 100 billion cubic meters is a "decent amount but not that substantial."

He says it's equivalent to six or seven months gas supply for China.