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Sinopec's new fuel find spells energy security

Workers check an oil facility in the Shunbei area of Tarim Basin in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

China Petrochemical Corp, or Sinopec Group, said on Thursday it has discovered a new 200-million-ton oil and gas field in the Shunbei area of the Tarim Basin in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region-and analysts promptly said the find will likely help ensure domestic energy security.

An exploration well drilled by Sinopec Northwest China Petroleum Bureau, a subsidiary of Sinopec, achieved a daily flow of 865 tons of crude oil and 590,000 cubic meters of natural gas, said the company.

The government has been stepping up domestic oil and gas exploration and increased capital expenditure in both conventional and non-conventional production in recent years, said Luo Zuoxian, head of intelligence and research at the Sinopec Economics and Development Research Institute.

"The country's three major oil and gas players-China National Petroleum Corp, Sinopec and China National Offshore Oil Corp-have all accelerated exploration investment intensity during the past few years with a series of major breakthroughs," he said.

"The country's mastery of oil and gas exploration technology has also been on the rise and will further inject momentum into the reform of the country's future oil and gas systems and mechanisms."

Located in the northern margin of the Taklimakan Desert, the Shunbei oil and gas field is one of the deepest oil and gas reservoirs in the world. It is also Asia's deepest reservoir of its kind.

Last October, with advanced ultra-deep drilling technology, Sinopec created the record for well drilling in Asia with the 53-2H well, which has a depth of 8,874 meters.

The accumulated crude production in the Shunbei oil and gas field has exceeded 3 million tons by June and the natural gas production exceeded 1 billion cubic meters, making the oil and gas field a key driver of growth of the company's domestic oil and gas production.

The accumulative proved petroleum geological reserves of Sinopec Northwest China Petroleum Bureau have reached 1.5 billion tons so far, and that of natural gas 74 billion cubic meters. Cumulative oil and gas equivalent production has exceeded 140 million tons, making it one of China's top 10 onshore oil fields.

China National Petroleum Corp also announced the discovery of a major shale oilfield in Daqing, Heilongjiang province, on Wednesday, with predicted geological reserves of about 1.268 billion tons. It aims to produce more than 1 million tons of shale oil annually by 2025 from the Gulong shale oil formation in Daqing.