PetroChina plans Daqing oil boost

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2008, 12:00am

PetroChina, the nation's largest oil and gas producer, has developed technology to exploit more than one billion tonnes of oil reserves from its largest and oldest oilfield, Daqing, in Heilongjiang province, but it remains unclear as to whether the advancement would add much to oil output.

The so-called well-fracturing method would help PetroChina drill reserves at Changyuan oilfield, Daqing's major field, reported China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the Hong Kong and Shanghai-listed company's parent, in its newsletter China Oil News.

Traditional technology provided access to only 20 per cent of the Category 3 oil-bearing strata, but the new method could significantly increase the ratio, the statement said.

Given the added difficulties with Category 3 oil-bearing strata, these reserves had not been exploited in the past due to technology constraints, the newsletter said.

Changyuan had more than one billion tonnes of Category 3 oil reserves, CNPC said, without specifying whether the reserves are proven.

'The technology will prove valuable in improving the recovery of oil from these reserves,' the newsletter quoted Wang Yupu, Daqing oilfield's general manager, as saying.

Analysts said the inventory was probably geological and would not add much to proven reserves.

'The new technology probably can increase Daqing's production,' said Gideon Lo Wai-yip, a DBS Vickers analyst. 'But is it cost-effective? How much it can add to Daqing's oil output is still unclear.'

Annual oil output at Daqing, which was discovered almost 50 years ago, fell to 43.4 million tonnes in 2006 from a peak of 55 million tonnes, but the field still accounts for more than 33 per cent of PetroChina's total production.

At the end of 2006, Daqing had proven oil reserves of 620 million tonnes.

No PetroChina spokesperson was available for comment.

Meanwhile, CNPC last year increased crude oil production by 1 per cent, or one million tonnes, and gas production by 22 per cent, or 10 billion cubic metres, chairman Jiang Jiemin said in his published New Year's greetings.

CNPC this year aimed to boost oil output by a further one million tonnes and gas by 10 billion cubic metres, Mr Jiang said.