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CNPC completes oil well drilling work in Tarim

By Zheng Xin | China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-30 10:01
A CNPC employee collects data at Tarim oilfield in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

China National Petroleum Corp (PetroChina), the country's biggest oil and gas company, said on Monday that it has achieved a significant technological breakthrough, after successfully completing drilling work on the deepest oil well on land in Asia at its Tarim oilfield in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The Luntan One well, with a current depth of 8,882 meters, broke the previous record of 8,588 meters set by Sinopec in February 2019, according to PetroChina Tarim Oilfield Co.

The company, which started to drill in June 2018, has overcome the difficulties posed by ultrahigh-temperature and ultra-high-pressure conditions, said Cai Zhenzhong, head of the company's resource exploration department.

"We have basically drilled a depth of Qomolangma underground," said Qiu Bin, manager of the company's exploration division.

Tarim Basin is the largest petroliferous basin in China and one of the most difficult to explore due to its harsh ground environment and complicated underground conditions.

Analysts said the success of Luntan One well exploration illustrates China's technology of ultra-deep drilling has reached world leading levels, and is an integral part of China's exploration process for deep drilling and increasing reserves and stabilizing productivity for oil and gas.

There has been an absence of geologic information for the Luntan One well, and the deep location, ultra-high pressure, ultrahigh temperature and sulfur content have all made the drilling more challenging, said Li Li, energy research director at ICIS China, a firm tracking China's energy market.

As the country's reliance on gas imports has been climbing in recent years and reached 45 percent last year, China's oil and gas companies are determined to increase their domestic output in recent years, and the exploration of Luntan One well is a significant step, she said.

China remains highly dependent on oil and gas imports in recent years. As the country's major oil companies have been stepping up domestic oil exploration, the country produced 95.39 million metric tons of crude oil during the first half of this year, a year-on-year increase of 0.8 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

"However, whether the technological and capital investment will meet the oil and gas output remains to be observed, and it remains challenging to achieve energy self-sufficiency considering the high dependency on oil imports under the current situation."

It's a long-term plan and the success of the exploration of Luntan One well is a major step toward it, she added.

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