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Xinjiang oilfield completes expansion
( 2003-10-17 15:52) (Xinhua)

An expansion project at the Tahe Oilfield in the Tarim Basin, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has begun production.

At a ceremony to mark the operation of the expansion project, Mou Shuling, deputy president of Sinopec Co. Ltd., hailed the event as an important step in Sinopec Group's strategy to move westward.

The Tahe Oilfield is a major platform of Sinopec Group Northwest Branch for oil exploration and development.

More than 20,000 Chinese workers who had worked for the expansion project since the beginning of the year have sunk 59 oil wells in the Gobi Desert north of the Tarim River, China's longest inland river, and built seven facilities to process and transport the oil, and erected 115 kilometers of power transmission lines and 110 kilometers of oil pipelines.

The expansion project has a design production capacity of 1.1 million tons and a cost of 2.2 billion yuan (265 million US dollars).

With the completion of the expansion, the oilfield had gained an annual production capacity of 3.2 million tons. It already produced more than 9,000 tons of crude a day, said Mou.

The oilfield, situated between Luntai and Kuqa counties, was discovered in 1997. Its original annual production capacity was 2. 1 million tons. By late 2002, the oilfield had been verified to have a geological oil reserve of 257 million tons.

The Tahe Oilfield turned out 2.57 million tons of crude and 450 million cubic meters of gas last year.

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