ARKANSAS, Oct 23 (Future Headlines)- China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) recently unveiled a significant energy breakthrough with the discovery of the Shenfu deep Coalbed Methane (CBM) field. Located in Yulin City within Shaanxi Province at the eastern fringe of the Ordos Basin, this discovery carries substantial implications for China’s energy security. This expansive deposit of natural gas stored within coal seams, known as deep CBM, represents a pivotal development in the nation’s quest to bolster reserves and unconventional oil and gas production.
China boasts abundant CBM resources, and the deep CBM category is particularly noteworthy. The deep CBM reservoirs, buried at depths surpassing 1,500 meters, are considered vital for the country’s energy strategy. These deposits, which are concealed at depths up to 2,000 meters, exceed a staggering 30 trillion cubic meters, constituting roughly one-third of China’s CBM resources. This discovery is a testament to China’s formidable commitment to securing its energy needs.
However, the significance of deep CBM goes beyond sheer volume. These reserves pose unique challenges due to their complex geological conditions and accumulation mechanisms. In comparison to medium and shallow CBM deposits, deep CBM is associated with increasing depth of burial, resulting in higher formation temperatures, pressures, and stress. Consequently, the exploration and development of deep CBM are more intricate and costly endeavors.
Shenfu’s deep CBM field, where this breakthrough unfolded, involves coal seams buried approximately 2,000 meters beneath the Earth’s surface. The single layers of these seams vary in thickness, spanning from 6 meters to 23 meters. What makes this discovery particularly promising is the impressive gas content within these coal seams, averaging 15 cubic meters per tonne of coal. In the exploration area, more than 100 exploratory wells have already been drilled, achieving a remarkable maximum daily gas output of 26,000 cubic meters per well.
Shenfu represents CNOOC’s second significant CBM discovery, following the success of the Linxing field, which shares similar volumes of proven gas in-place. These two discoveries underscore the vast potential of exploration and development along the eastern fringe of the Ordos Basin.
Xu Changgui, CNOOC’s deputy chief exploration engineer, emphasized the significance of this deep CBM field, highlighting its potential impact on similar basins. He stated, “The discovery provides important guidance for exploration in similar basins and facilitates the growth of our reserves and production of unconventional oil and gas.”
This breakthrough lays a solid foundation for CNOOC’s ambitions to construct a large onshore gas production base. With a target of tapping up to 1 trillion cubic meters of proven gas in-place, CNOOC’s CEO Zhou Xinhuai expressed his optimism. He affirmed, “The discovery lays a solid foundation for the company to build a large onshore gas production base, which will tap up to 1 trillion cubic meters of proven gas in-place.”
Zhou Xinhuai went on to assert CNOOC’s unwavering commitment to further intensify efforts in onshore unconventional gas exploration and development. The company aims to achieve new breakthroughs that will, in turn, reinforce national energy security.
This remarkable discovery in the Shenfu deep CBM field marks a transformative milestone in China’s relentless pursuit of energy self-sufficiency and contributes to the nation’s energy security, laying the foundation for further exploration and development in this critical sector.
Reporting by Moe Khaled; Editing by Sarah White