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Sinopec finds deep natural gas field in Sichuan

CHENGDU - Energy giant Sinopec has discovered a natural gas field with around 160 billion cubic meters of proven reserves deposited nearly 7 kilometers underground, a company subsidiary said Saturday.

The Yuanba gas field in Sichuan province is the deepest ever gas field in marine strata found in China, with its deposits reaching as deep as 6,950 meters, according to the Sichuan-based Sinopec Exploration Southern Company.

The field contains 159.25 billion cubic meters of reserves in an area of 155.33 square kilometers, and the planned annual output capacity will be 3.4 billion cubic meters by 2015, the company said.

Taking forecast reserves into account, the total reserves could reach 828.63 billion cubic meters, said Guo Xusheng, general manager of the subsidiary company.

The Yuanba field is another major finding by Sinopec in Sichuan after it discovered China's second largest gas field Puguang.

Sinopec started exploring the Yuanba area in 2006 and formally began development and construction of the gas field in late August.

Sinopec Group, parent of Sinopec, said in April that the development of the Yuanba field will play a significant role in ensuring the country's energy security.

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