IT is highly possible that offshore areas in Bohai Bay will yield further crude reserves as more exploration efforts are scheduled this year, according to a source from China’s largest oil company.
“Based on the current data available, it is almost certain that offshore areas of Bohai Bay will surpass the onshore region in oil reserves,” says China National Petroleum Offshore Engineering Co Ltd (CPOE) president Shi Lin.
“We are making it a priority to further explore the offshore potential at Nanpu Oilfield to prepare even larger official reserve figures to be submitted to the State resource authority, perhaps by July,” he adds.
CPOE is a subsidiary of the country’s top oil firm, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), tasked with offshore oil and gas exploration and production.
It is very likely that the official reserve figure, which will be subject to State assessment, will exceed the one billion tonnes announced recently, Shi tells China Business Weekly.
CNPC announced last week that the newly found Jidong Nanpu Oilfield in Bohai Bay has a reserve of one billion tonnes, or about 7.35 billion barrels, the largest discovery in the country over the past four decades.
By 2012, CNPC expects the Nanpu Oilfield to produce 10 million tonnes of crude yearly, with seven million tonnes from offshore platforms, according to Hu Wenrui, vice-president of PetroChina, CNPC’s Hong Kong and New York-listed arm.
“Our present research demonstrates offshore areas in Bohai Bay feature more richness than the onshore sector in crude reserves. After further tapping the Nanpu block, we will switch our attention to other offshore blocks around Bohai Bay, such as Jinzhou and Panjin, this year,” Shi adds.
Zhai Guangming, a noted geologist with the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the first general manager of the Jidong Oilfield, expects more discoveries from Bohai Bay following the Nanpu block, based on estimates of 29 billion tonnes of oil in the region.
Zhai projects that half of the potential has not been yet tapped in Bohai Bay.