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PetroChina Makes Huge Gas Find

PetroChina discovered a natural gas field with reserves in excess of 100 billion cubic meters, Chinese states news agency Xinhua reported this weekend.

The agency cited a company official who said the field could produce 610,000 cubic meters of gas plus 106.3 cubic meters of crude oil daily.

"The discovery marks a major breakthrough in gas exploration in the southern rim of the Junggar Basin, which will further guarantee the gas supply of our company and contribute to the stability and prosperity of the region," Huo Jin, general manager of PetroChina's unit in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, said.

Last week, another subsidiary of PetroChina reported growing natural gas production this year, as Beijing aims for a greater share of domestic production in its gas consumption.

Southwest Oil and Gasfield Company said it had produced some 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas since the start of the year and expected the annual total to reach 31.6 billion cubic meters. This will represent a sixth of China's total natural gas output. By 2025, the company plans to boost this to 50 billion cubic meters per year.

China is one of the world's largest natural gas importers, and as demand for the fuel soars, so do imports.

Back in 2010, imports accounted for just 15 percent of China's natural gas supply. By 2018, the share of imports in the country's gas supply surged to nearly half—45 percent—of the total supply. As consumption has been vastly outpacing domestic natural gas production, China has been looking for three years to raise its own production.

This has prompted Beijing to double down on its efforts to expand domestic production, including both conventional and unconventional reserves. As a result of these efforts, Rystad Energy reported recently, China will become the top market for seismic exploration onshore over the next two years, while exploration activity remains subdued elsewhere in the world.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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