Ordos Basin's Natural Gas Area--Inner Mongolia
- Description: Towering derricks and high-yield gas streams are seen everywhere in Uxin Banner, Ih Ju League, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the location of China's largest natural gas field.
Towering derricks and high-yield gas streams are seen everywhere in Uxin Banner, Ih Ju League, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the location of China's largest natural gas field.
The Sulige natural gas field, in the gas-rich Ordos Basin, has a proven reserve of 220.4 billion cu m discovered last year, and is expected to discover 280 billion cu m more in reserve in the first half of 2001. Huang Yan, president of the New York and Hong Kong-listed PetroChina, said Sulige will be the seventh-largest gas field in the world when, as expected, its reserve totals 500 billion cu m.
Sulige now covers an exploration area of 20,000 sq km, and consists of three major gas-bearing gritstone regions, 500 million cu m of natural gas was discovered in one of the three underground gritstone regions, which are some 16 to 48 meters deep and show the best permeability ever found in a Chinese gas field.
Meanwhile, the Changqing Oil Field has discovered three large gas fields in the Ordos Basin, each with a reserve of more than 100 billion cu m. The long-term goal of the Changqing Oil Field is to increase its total proven gas reserve to some 2,000 billion cu m. The proven total in the Ordos Basin will stand at 1,000 billion cu m by the end of June 2001, according to Hu. The Ordos Basin covers an area of some 370,000 sq km and is China's second-largest sedimentary basin. The natural gas reserve of the Basin is estimated to be 10.7 trillion cu m.
Situated in the middle part of the Ordos Basin, the Sulige gas field is only 700 km and 1,500 km from Beijing and Shanghai, respectively. The massive gas reserve and favorable geographical location will make Sulige a pioneer in China's ambitious West-East Gas Pipeline Project. With the completion of the project in 2003, some three to seven billion cu m of natural gas produced in Sulige will be transmitted to east China's Shanghai municipality every year. The distance is some only one third of that between the city and the Tarim basin in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which also has a large amount of proven gas reserve.
Changbei natural gas field, Located on the edge of the Maowusu desert in the Ordos Basin of Shaanxi Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, it is the largest onshore upstream cooperative development Shell has had in China. It is expected that production will rise to the planned plateau rate of 3 billion cubic metres/yr during 2008.
Meanwhile, a pipeline to Hohhot, capital of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, with a capacity of 1.2 billion cu m, will be completed this year, adding to the Changqing Oil Field's existing 1,678-km long natural gas pipelines to Beijing, Xi'an and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. To date, 15 large and medium-sized Chinese cities enjoy the convenience of natural gas produced in the Ordos Basin. At the moment, in the consumption of worldwide energy resources that can not be reproduced, natural gas amounts to 20 percent.
Experts with the International Energy and Resources Organization estimated that the amount will increase by 2.6 percent every year, to reach 51.1 percent by 2040, with the supply of natural gas surpassing oil and coal as the world's top energy resource in the world.
China is widely regarded as one of the early users of natural gas. However, to date, natural gas only accounts for 2.1 percent of the country's energy structure and some one tenth of the world' s average. Exploration for natural gas in the Ordos Basin, especially in the Sulige region, has become a strategic move in China's ongoing energy structure adjustment.