The Sulige South block in northern China pumped a record 2.24 bcm of gas in 2018, operator China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) revealed on February 1. This marked an 11% increase on the field’s output in 2017.
Located in the Ordos Basin, Sulige is one of only a handful of onshore gas projects in China to involve a foreign investor. CNPC signed a joint venture deal with France’s Total to develop the field jointly in 2011, with production starting the following year.
CNPC said the joint venture with Total currently operates 594 gas wells with a daily output of 6.5 mcm. The Chinese firm has also developed currently producing gas fields under joint ventures with Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron.
China’s state-run oil majors have responded over the past year to a government call for them to ramp up their oil and gas drilling activity in order to improve the country’s energy security. This is already yielding results, with China’s gas output expanding 7.5% in 2018 to 161 bcm.
Elsewhere in the Ordos Basin, CNPC managed to expand output at its Changqing field last year to a record 54.61 million tonnes of oil equivalent (1.1 million boepd), up 2.7% on the previous year. Total gas output in Changqing reached 38 bcm – equivalent to a quarter of China’s total gas production – during 2018, comfortably beating an earlier target of 36.8 bcm.
CNPC is also drilling more shallow wells in Changqing. In 2018, it struck industrial oil flows at 184 such wells, adding 51.7 million tonnes (378.96 million barrels) of proven reserves.
At the Sulige, Yulin and Jingbian gas blocks combined, the company added 2,300 new production wells during the year, raising output by 23 mcm per day.
The company also announced in December 2018 that it had achieved daily gas flows of 225,000 cubic metres at exploration well Yongtan-1, in Jianyang City in Sichuan Province. Daily production at its flagship Chuannan shale gas play in the province also reached a record 20.11 mcm in late December 2018, up nearly 68% from the 12 mcm it recorded in October 2018.