Exploration giant PetroChina has sanctioned an overall development plan (ODP) for extracting shale gas at Yang 101 block in the southern part of the Sichuan basin, in southwestern China, with potential to establish 5 billion cubic metres throughput per annum by 2025 and 20 Bcm per annum by 2035.
The ODP involves seven well pads, including expansion of an existing one, for the drilling of 44 horizontal production wells with vertical depths ranging from 3500 to 5500 metres and horizontal extension of 1500 to 2500 metres.
The development, costing 3.4 billion yuan ($505 million), also calls for seven gas gathering stations and eight export pipelines spanning 28 kilometres. Of the total outlays, 0.87% will be used to build facilities for environmental protection.
In 2019, the discovery well Yang 101H1-2 flowing 468,900 cubic metres per day upon test. PetroChina kicked off initial development last year through some existing facilities.
Additional facilities and at least 3000 more wells are promised to increase production to 20 Bcm per annum by 2035, a company official involved in the field development said.
PetroChina plans to boost overall shale gas production from the southern part of the Sichuan basin to 27 Bcm by 2025, of which 60% will come from blocks in the Luzhou and Zigong areas.
In the basin, shale gas reserves trapped deeper than 3500 metres cover an area of 126,000 square kilometres, while those less than 3500 metres deep cover 63,000 square kilometres, according to PetroChina.
The latest survey released by the Ministry of Natural Resources shows that China hosts 21.8 trillion cubic metres of technically recoverable shale gas resources, which could help underpin a production capacity of 50 Bcm per annum.
Of the total shale gas resources, PetroChina has confirmed 1.1 Tcm as recoverable, while Sinopec has identified 940 Bcm recoverable reserves.
PetroChina claims it has confirmed 1.2 Tcm of shale reserves in reservoirs between 2500 and 3500 metres deep in an area covering 2500 square kilometres in the southern Sichuan basin.
For shale gas, about 80% of the new discoveries lie in reservoirs deeper than 3500 metres, which are more fractured and susceptible to well integrity issues while drilling.
China is looking to increase its proven in-place shale gas reserves to 6.5 Tcm by 2025, targeting southern and eastern Sichuan province, the north-west of Yunnan province and the Ordos basin.
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