State-run Sinopec has made a shale gas discovery in Chongqing City, in southwest China, according to the company’s website.
The discovery well Dingye 4 flowed 205,600 cubic metres per day in mid-August, showing that the Dingshan structure holds shale gas. The Dingshan structure, in the southeastern part of the Sichuan Basin, is located 150 km from the company’s producing Fuling shale gas field, which is the most prolific shale project in the country.
Sinopec, China’s leading producer of the unconventional gas, said this level of flow was big enough to declare the discovery commercial.
The company started work on Dingye 4 in May 2016 and completed drilling in July 2017. Sinopec has also drilled two more wells targeting the same structure, but did not say whether they had been completed or whether it had made any other shale gas discoveries. The company did say it would further process drilling data from Dingye 4 in an attempt to improve its understanding of the reservoir.
China wants to turn the Sichuan Basin’s Chongqing area into the country’s top shale gas-producing region. The Chongqing government has also planned to invest 150 billion yuan (US$22.93billion) to help boost production to 20 bcm by 2020.
Two months ago, Sinopec raised its estimate of Fuling’s reserves by 58% to 600.8 bcm from the 380.6 bcm it announced three years ago. Sinopec is now drilling more wells at the project as part of the field’s second phase of development, which should boost Fuling’s total production capacity to 10 bcm by the end of this year.
By the end of June, Sinopec had cumulatively produced 11.8 bcm of shale gas from Fuling. The gas is being moved to market via Sinopec’s Sichuan-East gas pipeline, through which it can reach users in more than 70 cities.