China's first offshore shale exploration well in South China Sea
China has tapped commercial flows of oil and gas from a shale exploration well in the South China Sea for the first time.
China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), China's largest offshore oil and gas producer, said on Thursday that it had implemented a successful fracking test and extracted commercial flow of shale oil.
Exploration well Weiye-1, located in the southwestern trough of the Beibu Gulf in the South China Sea, tested a daily production of 20 cubic meters (126 barrels) of oil and 1,589 cubic meters of natural gas, Shanghai Securities Journal reported.
"After two years of bottleneck-breaking work, including the study of the characteristic of shale oil reserve in the southwestern trough in the Beibu Gulf, rounds of verification on the feasibility of the project and the fracking test, we deployed China's first offshore shale oil exploration well, which has unleashed shale oil and gained commercial flow of shale oil," said Deng Yong, chief geologist with the CNOOC Zhanjiang branch.
"The latest success of China's first offshore shale oil exploration well is a major breakthrough in offshore oil and gas explorations of the country. It means that China is able to independently explore and develop its offshore shale oil and gas resources with its own equipment and technologies, which opens a new page in China's exploration and development of unconventional offshore oil and gas," said Xu Changgui, general manager of the exploration department of CNOOC.
The company estimated that the trough could have 800 million tonnes of shale oil resource, and the whole Beibu Gulf could hold about 1.2 billion tonnes of prospective shale oil.