China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has found crude oil and natural gas in the deepest well drilled in Asia’s onshore, striking hydrocarbons in a pre-salt layer for the first time in China.
The discovery was made in the Tarim oilfield in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang in a well deep 8,882 meters (29,140 feet), which was first drilled in July last year.
Production from the now spudded well in the pre-salt area is expected at 133.46 cubic meters of oil per day, while daily gas production is seen at 48,700 cubic meters, according to a CNPC statement carried by Reuters.
It is rare for new wells to be so deep, as the oil and gas wells in China typically range from 200 meters (656 feet) to 5,000 meters (16,404 feet), a petroleum engineer told the Global Times, commenting on the deepest onshore well in Asia.
CNPC and China are touting the deepest well in Asia as a success in enhanced oil recovery and risk exploration, but the world’s largest oil importer could face geological challenges in replacing oil and gas reserves from maturing oil and gas fields, analysts say.
China has made increasing its oil and gas production a matter of energy security and a priority for its oil and gas companies as its oil and gas demand continues to grow while domestic production is not nearly enough to cover that demand.
The biggest energy producers in China are tapping more tight oil and gas wells, aiming to increase domestic oil and natural gas production at the world’s largest crude oil importer.
China’s efforts to boost oil and gas exploration in harsh-environment areas and challenging geological conditions could get a shot in the arm later this year when Beijing will open oil and gas exploration to foreign companies. As of May 1 this year, foreign companies will be able to explore and develop oil and gas fields in China without setting up a joint venture with a Chinese company – a rule until now.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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