China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the country's largest oil and gas producer, has found a natural gas field with a proven reserve of 100 billion cu m in northern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
The Klameli field is the first reserve of this size ever discovered around the Junggar Basin, said Chen Xinfa, general manager of Xinjiang Oilfield Co, a subsidiary of CNPC.
Discovery of the field, about 250 km away from Karamay city, will alleviate the gas shortage in northern Xinjiang, said Chen.
Junggar Basin is said to have 2.5 trillion cu m of gas in reserve, but less than 10 percent have been proved. Xinjiang Oil Co, which is responsible for exploiting oil and gas reserves there, planned to boost its annual gas production to 5 billion cu m by 2010.
Natural gas output in Xinjiang is expected to reach 24 billion cu m in 2008. The leading gas-producing region will pump more than 15 billion cu m of natural gas this year to the country's more affluent but energy-hungry eastern regions, the China Petroleum Daily reported.
CNPC's natural gas production has seen 20 percent growth in three consecutive years.
The company earlier said it had made six major oil and gas discoveries this year, springing from an increased focus on exploration.
The company's newly discovered natural gas reserves are expected to exceed 400 billion cu m for the fourth time, CNPC said in a statement on its website.
Last year, CNPC's newly proved natural gas reserves were 452.2 billion cu m.
In 2007, CNPC invested around 100 billion yuan to step up oil and gas exploration, said Li Runsheng, assistant general manager of the corporation.
This year CNPC started the construction of the second West-to-East natural gas pipeline, which will mainly carry natural gas from Turkmenistan and Xinjiang to the Yangtze and Pearl River deltas.
With a designed gas transmission capacity of 30 billion cu m per year, the pipeline would traverse 12 provinces and autonomous regions before reaching the eastern municipality of Shanghai and southern Guangdong province.