As reported by The Guardian, China has initiated drilling an 11,100-meter borehole in the Taklamakan Desert, known for its abundant oil and mineral resources. Situated in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the borehole aims to penetrate more than ten continental strata and reach the Cretaceous System, a geological era spanning approximately 145-66 million years.The milestone project is tied to Beijing’s effort to discover rich mineral and energy resources untapped beneath the deep ground.
Commenced on Tuesday, May 30, this project is spearheaded by the China National Petroleum Corporation, the country’s leading oil and gas corporation and one of the largest integrated energy companies in the world.
Hailed as ‘a landmark in China’s deep-Earth exploration’ by the Xinhua News Agency, the borehole has garnered praise from the Xinhua News Agency. It is expected to become the deepest borehole in China and rank among the world’s deepest. While the Kola Superdeep Borehole in northwest Russia holds the current record at a depth of 12,262m, the Chinese borehole aims to surpass that feat.
According to Sinopec, a petroleum refining company also involved in the project, the narrow borehole—dubbed Project Deep Earth 1-Yuejin 3-3XC—is planned for completion in a record time of 457 days. It will be the world’s fastest time to complete drilling an 11,000-meter borehole if the project is completed within the set period.
Besides resource exploration, the project is aimed at facilitating the analysis of the internal structure and evolution of the Earth while also providing essential data for geoscience studies, according to CNPC. In addition, researchers are expected to conduct studies estimating the potential risks of natural disasters like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
That said, China has recently planned to roll out a significant number of resource exploration projects as part of the country’s effort to curb its reliance on foreign energy sources by increasing raw material sourcing for industrial, domestic, and consumer energy supply. In January, Wang Guanghua, China’s minister of natural resources, stated that China must curate strategies to “ensure domestic resource security” as economic and geopolitical uncertainties face the world.
Furthermore, China is set to dominate the landscape of the upcoming oil and gas (O&G) project in Asia-Pacific, accounting for 33% of the total projects predicted to go into operation by 2027. That said, with inflating energy demand and costs, countries worldwide are striving to become self-sufficient in energy by investing in developing new oil and gas fields.
Efficient reservoir lifecycle monitoring is crucial for optimizing oil and gas production. For cost-effective production enhancement, O&G companies can make a wise business choice by investing in advanced distributed acoustic sensing-based seismic services like Silixa. These high-end services provide high-resolution seismic data throughout the reservoir lifecycle, enabling improved decision-making and exceptional performance.
When it comes to the borehole, the Tarim basin holds the distinction of being the largest oil and gas-bearing area in the country, situated a staggering 8,000 meters below the Earth’s surface. However, due to the complex geological structure resulting from tectonic-sedimentary evolution, drilling ultra-deep wells in this location presents a significant challenge for O&G companies.
As per the requirement based on the geological condition of the location, the scheme entails utilizing an 82-meter-high drilling rig weighing over 2,000 tonnes. The specially designed automatic deep-drilling rig, along with its tools and equipment, can withstand temperatures up to 200°C and high atmospheric pressure (131.723KPa).
Sohela is an electrical engineer and a self-professed writer with a keen interest in all things tech. When she’s not writing killer content pieces, you’ll find her enjoying tempting foods in her favourite restaurants.