| BEIJING, March 31
BEIJING, March 31 Sinopec Corp,
China's No.2 oil and gas producer, aims to start pumping from
the Yuanba sour gas field in the country's southwest by the end
of 2014 using its own technology, according to its parent
company's website and industry officials.
China, the world's top energy user but the fourth-largest
consumer of gas, is racing to unlock supplies of the
cleaner-burning fuel by boosting imports and by domestic
exploration of both conventional and unconventional reserves.
Sinopec Corp is set to complete building a processing plant
at Yuanba by end of this year to produce 3.4 billion cubic
metres of gas annually, a report on Sinopec Group's website
showed on Friday. This would be equivalent to 18 percent of
Sinopec Corp's total output of around 18.7 bcm last year.
The timeline for the Yuanba project comes just days after
Sinopec Corp announced a major breakthrough in shale gas
development, also in the Sichuan basin.
Yuanba would be Sinopec's second major development of a
high-sulphur gas project in Sichuan after its $10-billion
Sinopec will use its own technology to tap the Yuanba
deposit, industry officials said, unlike the Puguang project
where it used the expertise of U.S. engineering firm Black &
Veatch to tackle the high content of toxic hydrogen sulphide.
"This time they're doing that on their own, as they've
learnt a lot from the Puguang experience," Michael Gai, Black &
Veatch's China operations manager, told Reuters on Monday.
Gai said Yuanba's gas carries a lower level of sulphur
compared to Puguang, where Sinopec started producing in 2010
after nearly three years of development.
Sinopec announced the Yuanba discovery in 2007 and started
developing the field in July 2011, but with drilling mostly at a
depth of 7,500 metres, the sour gas reservoir is still seen as a
By the end of 2012, it had drilled 69 wells, of which 25-30
percent could yield gas flows high enough for commercial
development, local media has reported, citing a Sinopec official
in charge of the project.
A $6.4 billion sour gas project in the same geological zone
being built by U.S. firm Chevron has been repeatedly
delayed due to disagreements with partner PetroChina
over how to develop the technically tricky fields, Reuters has
(Editing by Himani Sarkar)