Henan basin finds new oilfield

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A new oilfield with crude oil reserves totaling 107 million metric tons was recently discovered in the Sanmenxia basin in Central China's Henan province, marking a key milestone in the region's 50-yearlong petroleum exploration.

Although China's petroleum resources discovered so far are mainly in six major basins such as the Ordos Basin and the Tarim Basin, areas like Sanmenxia, characterized by numerous small to medium-sized basins, also boast huge potential for oil and gas exploration, said the China Geological Survey, which is undertaking the Sanmenxia project. The CGS is a bureau affiliated with the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The Sanmenxia discovery comes against the backdrop of China's mature oil regions gradually entering the later stages of development, which are typically marked by challenges in maintaining stable supply and high production costs. Therefore, the exploration of new oilfields holds crucial significance, experts said.

Lyu Jianzhong, deputy director of the CNPC Research Center of China Top Think Tanks, part of State-owned China National Petroleum Corp, said that currently, about 70 percent of China's crude oil consumption relies on imports. The corresponding figure for natural gas exceeds 40 percent.

"China should take measures to ensure energy security while developing new energy. It should continue to enhance domestic oil and gas exploration and development, expand petroleum and natural gas reserve capacities, and build a comprehensive production-supply-reserve-sales system," Lyu said.

Latest data from the National Energy Administration showed that in 2023, crude oil production in China reached 208 million tons, up by over 3 million tons, and by nearly 19 million tons over the 2018 level.

Last year, output of domestic oil and gas equivalent — the amount of gas and oil converted into crude oil by equaling the energy produced from the latter — exceeded 390 million tons, maintaining a rapid growth trend of over 10 million tons annually for seven consecutive years, according to the NEA.

"Under China's strong green commitment, there is a push to promote the green transformation of energy-intensive industries and actively develop new energies," Lyu said.

Last year, the NEA released an action plan to accelerate the integration of oil and gas exploration with the development of new energies. The plan called for further efforts to actively expand the scale of green electricity used by oil and gas companies.

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