Sinopec, one of China's two leading onshore oil and gas producers and the nation's largest oil refiner, has decided to increase its natural gas output goal in southwest China's Sichuan Province to three billion cubic meters for this year, company sources said Sunday.
The figure is 25 percent higher than the original goal.
The revised output would be 36 percent higher than the company's natural gas production in Sichuan last year, the sources said.
In 2006 Sinopec produced around 2.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas in Sichuan, or 30.6 percent of the company's total gas output of 7.2 billion cubic meters. That was also 12.3 percent of China's total.
To achieve the revised goal, the company plans to start drilling 40 new gas wells in the coming 100 days and build an additional annual production capacity of 189 million cubic meters.
Industry observers said the company has discovered large, promising oil and gas-bearing geological structures in northern and northeastern areas of Sichuan. The Puguang Gas Field is so far the largest marine-origin gas field in China, with verified deposits of 356 billion cubic meters in 2006.
The company is planning to build a 1,702-km-long pipeline by 2010 to transport natural gas from Sichuan to the eastern part of China, with a designed annual transport capacity of 12 billion cubic meters. The cost of the project is estimated at 65.7 billion yuan (US$8.6 billion).
The natural gas supply is for Sichuan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces and Chongqing and Shanghai municipalities.
Sinopec, listed in Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York and London, reported 50.7 billion yuan in net profits last year, a growth of 28.1 percent on the previous year.
(Shanghai Daily June 18, 2007)