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Chinese Oil Drillers Set New Asian Depth Record

Oil drillers in China set a new record for well depth, drilling 9,396 meters into the ground for what has become the deepest oil well in Asia, Chinese media have reported.

The record well is part of a new phase in the development of an oil field in the Taklamakan desert, the biggest one in China. The Tarim field can now become a benchmark for other field development in the country, the People’s Daily noted in a report on the news.

The Tarim oil field sports some of the deepest wells in China, with 72 of them more than 8,000 meters deep and more than 1,600 wells with depths of over 6,000 meters. The so-called ultradeep wells are part of efforts in China’s crude oil industry to boost local oil and gas production to reduce the country’s still overwhelming dependence on imports.

Last year, China produced 204.7 million tons of crude one, an increase of 2.9 percent on the year, which was roughly equal to 4.11 million barrels daily. Imports, however, were more than twice that, at a total 508.3 million tons, or about 10.2 million barrels daily.

Because of its dependence on imports, China has become the single price swing factor among consuming nations, with doubts and hopes about its oil demand this year moving oil prices most of the time since Beijing announced the end of its zero-Covid policy.

This year, analysts expect China to import a record amount of crude oil thanks to new refineries coming online and travel rebounding after last year’s lockdowns. The consensus demand growth forecast of Wood Mackenzie, S&P Global, Energy Aspects, and FGE is between 500,000 bpd and 1 million bpd. This would push total imports to up to 11.8 million barrels daily, beating the record set last year, despite the lockdowns.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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