Germany is 'getting us all hooked on Russian gas' says expert

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Sinopec, the world’s largest refiner by volume, has uncovered bumper stocks of natural gas and crude oil at the Shunbei oil and gas field in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The state-owned energy company, also known as China Petrochemical Corp, found what they said is one of the world’s deepest onshore commercial oil and gas fields. While Chinese Premier Xi Jinping may be rubbing his hands with glee, the development of this oil field could scupper Putin’s plan to control global fossil fuel supplies.

Over the past year, the Russian President has used Europe’s reliance on Russian gas to exert political pressure amidst the invasion of Ukraine.

But as EU countries have begun phasing out their Russian imports, Putin has been turning towards China to help fund his war.

Over the past few months, Beijing and Moscow have signed a 30-year deal to pump gas into China, which helps Moscow overcome the gradual loss of its biggest consumer- Europe.

This oil field could disrupt those plans, as Sinopec described this finding as a major milestone that will further improve the country’s energy supply while guaranteeing energy security, according to China Daily.

This project, known as Shendi-1, is located in the central and western regions of the Tarim Basin and has an average reservoir burial depth of more than 7,300 metres.

Luo Zuoxian, head of intelligence and research at the Sinopec Economics and Development Research Institute, noted that the discovery would provide a substantial boost to domestic oil and gas output in the country.

He said: “The Tarim Basin, a major petroliferous basin in China, as well as one of the most difficult to explore due to its harsh ground environment and complicated underground conditions, has sufficient energy resources that will guarantee a continuous supply for the country’s future development.

“The discovery has revealed a positive resource prospect in the region.”

Speaking to Global Times, Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University noted that the reserves found can meeting approximately two years of domestic oil demand.

However, he added that not all of the oil that has been detected can be extracted from the deep layers.

However, he noted that the Tarim basin is rich in oil and can meet China’s demands over the next decade.

Sinopec has noted that the Shunbei oil field has confirmed reserves of 1.67 billion metric tons of crude oil and 94.58 billion cubic meters of natural gas so far, with a total output of more than 140 million tons of oil and gas equivalents.

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According to the company’s president Ma Yongsheng, Sinopec plans to ramp up its deep oil and gas exploration in China over the next few years.

They estimate that China’s oil and gas reserves in the deep and ultra-deep layers are equivalent to 67.1 billion tons of oil.

This accounts for up to 34 percent of the country’s total oil and gas reserves.

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