Crude oil output is to top 10 million tons this year in the oil-rich Tarim Basin, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, source with Tarim Oilfield Company said in Korla, Xinjiang Tuesday.
The 560,000-square-kilometer basin, known to economists as a strategic energy base, has become a major oil and gas supplier, said Vice-General Manager Zhou Xinyuan.
The company expects to produce 11 million tons of oil and natural gas this year, he said.
Last year, the Tarim Basin yielded 8.86 million tons of crude oil -- exploited jointly by Tarim Oilfield Company, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation, and the Northwest China Branch of China National Petrochemical Corporation.
Tarim Basin boasts estimated resources of 10.7 billion tons of crude oil and 8.39 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, while its proven geological reserves stand at 440 million tons of oil and 664 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Exploration for oil and gas started in the Tarim Basin in 1952, but massive exploitation was launched in 1989, when the country put forward the strategy of "developing oil resources in the west and stabilizing oil production in the east".
So far, 15 oilfields and 14 gas fields have been found in the basin, including the country's largest desert oilfield -- Tazhong Oilfield.
The Tarim Oilfield is also one of the major gas suppliers to the country's massive west-to-east gas transmission project, which expects to provide eastern China's areas with 6.5 billion cubic meters of gas this year through the west-to-east pipeline.
(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2005)