March 31, 2011 / 6:50 AM / 7 years ago

PetroChina completes drilling first horizontal shale gas well

BEIJING (Reuters) - PetroChina completed last week drilling its first horizontal shale gas well, in Sichuan province in the southwest, parent company CNPC’s inhouse newspaper reported on Thursday.

PetroChina drilled 1,079 meters horizontally at the Wei 201-H1 well, in the Weiyuan structure of the Sichuan basin, after sinking vertically 2,823 meters, marking the country’s first horizontal shale gas drilling, China Petroleum Daily said.

The horizontal drilling took 34 days.

Petrochina, Asia’s largest oil and gas producer, has yet to move to the more technically challenging part of the work - hydraulic fracturing -- to evaluate if the well has commercial gas flows.

Led by its state energy majors, China is in the early stages of exploring the frontier gas resource trapped in rocks that requires U.S.-developed hydraulic fracturing technology to extract.

The report did not mention when the appraisal work will start or if any foreign companies would be involved providing technical assistance.

In 2007, U.S. independent oil and gas producer Newfield Exploration agreed to jointly study with PetroChina shale gas resources in the Weiyuan area of Sichuan.

Reporting by Chen Aizhu

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