CNPC drills Asia's deepest oil and gas well in Xinjiang, proving nation's technology

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/25 20:28:40

A view of the 8,882-meter-deep oil and natural gas well in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Photo: Courtesy of CNPC

An 8,882-meter-deep oil and natural gas well has been drilled in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, setting a new depth record in Asia as China's energy giants seek additional resources to meet rising domestic needs.

Drilling, not completed yet, of such a deep well proves China's ability to conduct such advanced operations and provides key technology and experience for further detection of oil and gas in super deep formations, according to analysts.

The well was drilled by China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) in the Tarim Basin to explore for oil and gas. The depth surpasses height of Mount Qomolangma, creating a new record in Asia, according to a press release the company sent to the Global Times on Thursday.

The project faced many difficulties, including a lack of geological data, extremely high pressure and temperature, and the containment of sulfur, according to the press release.

Cai Zhenzhong, head of the Tarim oilfield company, which is a CNPC branch office in Korla, Xinjiang, noted these tough conditions, saying that most instruments and tools cannot function deep downhole where underground pressure and temperature levels reach to a level that is too high like in this well.

To overcome these problems, experts developed better drilling rigs for super deep wells and programed engineering design with customized bits, anti-inclination vertical well drilling measurement as well as optimized wellbore configurations.

The drilling team took a sample of the stratum to check for the presence of oil or natural gas from the deepest location, which is 8,641 meters to 8,649.5 meters deep.

According to the fourth resource evaluation of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Tarim Basin has 6.7 billion tons of ultra-deep petroleum resources and 9.7 trillion cubic meters of ultra-deep natural gas resources, accounting for more than 60 percent of China's onshore ultra-deep oil and gas resources.

Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Thursday that the new depth record shows Chinese energy companies are continuing their efforts to exploit untapped oil and gas reserves.

"The technologies of Chinese companies have risen to world-class levels, and the challenges and costs have risen as well," Lin said.

Industry observers also noted that the breakthrough in drilling technology is also of great significance in ensuring China's energy safety.

Posted in: COMPANIES

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