China’s energy security drive rolls on as oilfield hits 100 million tonne milestone

Production from China’s largest state-owned offshore oilfield has reached 100 million tonnes (733 million barrels) amid Beijing’s energy security drive, making it the first to hit the milestone, according to official Chinese media.

The Suizhong 36-1 oilfield, which started production in 1993, is a major part of China’s oil producing hub in Bohai Bay.

State broadcaster CCTV reported on Sunday that the milestone showed how old oilfields have continued to yield supplies and have played an important role in China’s efforts to improve energy security and cut reliance on imports.

“It is specifically meaningful in terms of safeguarding national energy security, driving economic growth and meeting the needs of daily life,” Zhang Chunsheng, a vice-general manager of the field’s operator, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s Tianjin Branch, told CCTV.

Output of 100 million tonnes is enough to meet the energy demand of a city of 10 million people for about 20 years, he added.

As the world’s biggest crude oil buyer, China consumes over 700 million tonnes each year, but it only produces 200 million tonnes.

China has intensified its quest for domestic oil sources in recent years amid growing geopolitical uncertainties.

The Suizhong 36-1 oilfield, with proven geological reserves of over 300 million tonnes, has 24 drilling platforms and produces 8,900 tonnes of crude oil per day.

Workers at the field have invented a technology that solved the global challenge of exploiting heavy oil, Zhang added, while they are also aiming for more technological breakthroughs to “keep an old oilfield young”.

As the world’s biggest industrial producer, China still has a significant demand for crude oil, although cleaner and renewable energy sources are being utilised.

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China starts drilling second 10,000-metre hole in search of oil and natural gas

China starts drilling second 10,000-metre hole in search of oil and natural gas

Its annual consumption of the natural resource reached a record high of 756 million tonnes last year, according to a report issued by a research institute under state oil giant Sinopec in March.

China has relatively high proven reserves of crude oil, ranking 13th in the world, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources.

But it relies on imports to meet over 70 per cent of its crude oil demand, largely due to complex terrain and technological limitations on domestic production.

Last year, it imported 564 million tonnes, up by 11 per cent from 2022, according to customs data.

Russia replaced Saudi Arabia as the top oil seller to China last year, contributing to nearly 19 per cent of its imports.

The United States is among China’s top crude oil suppliers, selling 14.28 million tonnes last year, accounting for 2.5 per cent of imports.

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