PetroChina discovered another major gasfield in western Xinjiang, said a source from the company's Tarim unit yesterday.
Speaking anonymously, he said "The gasfield, known as Dabei III, boasts an estimated reserve of as much as 130 billion cubic meters, and will serve as an important backup supply source for the west-east gas pipelines."
PetroChina's Beijing office declined to comment but Xinhua quoted officials in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. They said Petro China, listed in Hong Kong and New York, had discovered 130 billion cu m of natural gas.
Dai Jinxin is a researcher with the Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development affiliated with PetroChina, the country's largest oil and gas producer. He said the discovery could be the third largest gas field in Xinjiang, after the Kela II and Dina II Gas fields.
Dai said "Gas fields with reserves of more than 100 billion cu m are considered giant gas fields."
Kela II and Dina II gas fields have proven reserves of 250 and 170 billion cu m.
Since more exploration and evaluation are needed at the new field, it is too early to give any specific figures, the source said.
"We will drill more appraisal wells to determine the final reserve at a cost of around 200 million yuan ($26.6 million)," the insider said. The field has an initial estimated daily output capacity of 286,000 cu m.
Although Xinjiang currently lags SichuanProvince in terms of natural gas production, it boasts larger reserves, Dai said.
Reserves in Xinjiang's TarimBasin are expected to hit 8 trillion cu m, compared with the SichuanBasin's 4 trillion cu m, Dai told China Daily.
Xinjiang produced about 8 billion cu m of natural gas last year, while Sichuan's output was 15 billion cu m.
"Given that the transportation capacity of the west-east gas pipeline will increase this year and a second pipeline is being planned, the discovery in Xinjiang may turn out to be a shot in the arm to the country's natural gas industry," said Dai.
The country plans to increase gas use to 5.3 percent of the country's total energy mix by 2010.
1. The Dabei gasfield has an estimated capacity of what?
2. The story mentions PetroChina is listed on two world stock exhanges.What are they?
3. Xinjiang produced how much natural gas last year?
1. 130 billion cubic meters.
2. Hong Kong and New York.
3. 8 billion cubic meters.
（英语点津 Linda 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Jonathan Stewart is a media and journalism expert from the United States with four years of experience as a writer and instructor. He accepted a foreign expert position with chinadaily.com.cn in June 2007 following the completion of his Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Comparative Politics.