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Rich Gas Reserves Proved in Xinjiang

Natural gas reverses totaling 657.9 billion cubic meters have been proved in the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang, northwest China, which will ensure a long-term stable supply of gas to energy-thirsty eastern China, an oilfield executive said Sunday.

Potential gas reserves in Tarim, China's largest inland basin extending 530,000 square kilometers, are expected to reach 8.4 trillion cubic meters, or a quarter of China's total natural gas resources on land, said Sun Longde, general manager of the Tarim Oilfield Company.

Over the past 15 years, the company has discovered 40 gas fields, where 1.38 trillion cubic meters of gas has been verified, said Sun.

Beginning January 1, 2005, the company will pump natural gas to the west-east pipeline, a key state project targeted at sending 12 billion cubic meters of gas a year in the west for industrial and domestic use in Shanghai and other parts of the Yangtze River Delta in the east.

The annual production of the oilfield is expected to be 14 billion cubic meters by then.

Sun said his company is working for an annual gas production capacity of 30 billion cubic meters a year so that it can ensure as table supply to the pipeline for about 30 years.

Construction of the pipeline started in July 2002 and will cost140 billion yuan (US$17 billion).

(Xinhua News Agency April 11, 2004)

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