Exploration and production efforts involving the newly discovered gigantic Nanpu oilfield at Bohai Bay are on track, with annual output to hit 2.2 million tons by this year, sources from China's top oil and gas producer said yesterday.
"This year's production target for the Jidong Nanpu Oilfield is 2.2 million tons, with substantial annual increase scheduled from this year on. By 2012, we expect the oilfield to roll out 10 million tons of crude every year," revealed Hu Wenrui, vice-president of PetroChina, China's largest oil company listed in Hong Kong and New York.
Exploration work still takes top priority concerning the Jidong Nanpu Oilfield, with production capacity to be raised on a gradual basis, company sources told China Daily.
Jia Chengzao, a renowned oil geologist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and vice-president of PetroChina, expects more discoveries at Bohai Bay following Nanpu.
"It's possible for PetroChina to discover more oil at Bohai Bay, with new exploring technologies and theories to be adopted," echoed Han Xuegong, a senior consultant with China National Petroleum Corporation, PetroChina's parent company.
However, the actual output of the oilfield should be aligned with market demand and be subject to adjustments in line with global oil prices, Han said. "The output can increase step by step. If international oil prices go too high, then perhaps it's the right time to extract more oil at home."
PetroChina announced earlier this month that its newly discovered oilfield at Bohai Bay has a reserve of 1 billion tons, or about 7.35 billion barrels, the largest discovery in the country in four decades.
The oilfield is located at the Nanpu block of PetroChina's Jidong Oilfield in Caofeidian in Tangshan, North China's Hebei Province. The Nanpu block, partly offshore, covers 1,300-1,500 square kilometers and is expected to produce light crude.
The cost of developing the oilfield will be lower than international standards, with adoption of new exploration and production technologies, Hu from PetroChina stressed.
Liu Gu, a veteran analyst with Shenzhen-based Guotai Jun'an Securities (Hong Kong) Ltd, contended that with the new discovery, PetroChina will witness more production in future. "Our projection shows that with the new discovery, the firm's projected 2009 output will increase by 6.9 percent. And, this is a conservative figure."
China's top offshore oil and gas company, CNOOC Ltd, meanwhile, is expecting "a cluster of quality oil and gas fields" to be discovered at Bohai Bay, which will become a "major driving force" for the firm's future output.
The offshore oil producer did not reveal how large the potential blocks will be, saying only that the firm's exploration efforts are in full swing.
Earlier this year, CNOOC unveiled new findings at Bohai Bay involving a test output of 1,600 barrels of oil and 10 million cubic feet of gas per day.
(China Daily May 9, 2007)