China finds 'world scale' oilfield

China's biggest oil producer says it has discovered a massive new offshore oil field that could become the country's largest domestic petroleum source in a decade.

China finds 'world scale' oilfield

China'sbiggest oil producer says it has discovered a massive new offshore oil fieldthat could become the country's largest domestic petroleum source in a decade.

The field in the BohaiBay, in eastern China, couldhold reserves of up to 2.2 billion barrels, the official Xinhua news agencyreported.


The estimated output is equivalent to 5.4 per cent of China's totalcrude production in 2006, the agency quoted sources with PetroChina as saying.

The find comes amid intense exploration by China's oilcompanies, looking to reduce the country's rapidly growing dependence onforeign oil.


Such a field, if confirmed, would be a "world-scalediscovery", Gavin Thompson, an oil consultant based in Beijing, told the Associated Press.

"In terms of energy security, a 2 billion barreldiscovery is going to be very welcome, not only to PetroChina but to China's energyplanners."

Jiang Jiemin, vice-chairman and president of PetroChina,said it was "the largest find in China in 10 years".

The Nanpu block in Bohai Bay,partly offshore, covers an area of 1,300-1,500 sq km and is expected to producehigh-value light crude, the company said.

Leading importer

CNOOC, another leading energy company,announced this week that it had also discovered new oil and gas fields in Bohai Bay,yielding a test output of 1,600 barrels of oil and approximately 10 millioncubic feet of gas per day.

Zhu Weilin, vice-president of CNOOC, said of the discovery:"We hope to develop a large-scale cluster of oil and gas fields [there] inthe future."

China,which once met its energy needs from domestic oilfields, has turned into aleading importer of fuel since the 1990s amid surging economic growth.

It is now the world's second largest energy consumer afterthe US.

The country met almost half of its energy needs throughimported fuel in 2006 with oil consumption rising by 9.3 per cent to 2.4billion barrels.

Easing the pressure

Jim Brock, an industry consultant in Beijing, said while the Bohai discovery wouldhelp lessen the pressure for more imports, there would still be"significant pressure".

China,he said, would continue to be a major player in the international market.

Economists say Chinese oil demand, driven by economic growththat reached 10.7 per cent in 2006, has strained world supplies and pushed upprices.

The government is trying to improve the energy efficiency ofits economy, which consumes several times more units of energy per unit ofoutput than Japan or the US.

Although Chinese drillers have found several big gas fields,the Bohai discovery is the first major oil find since the mid-1990s.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16