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Ten years of efforts to build a "Chinese model" of shale gas development, committed to developing "Fuling shale gas of the country"

In the context of carbon neutrality, given China's resource endowment featuring "abundant coal, insufficient oil and shortage of gas", it has been a top priority for energy enterprises to enhance the supply of green energy, and accelerate the green transformation of the whole industrial chain. Developing shale gas resources is an important means to improve natural gas supply capacity, realize the national energy strategy of "reducing the use of coal and increasing gas supply", and achieve "energy conservation, emission cut and consumption reduction".

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, Sinopec has assumed the responsibility of exploring gas for the country, and worked hard to develop shale gas, promoting Fuling Shale Gas Field to achieve a historic leap from "a single well" to "many wells", from "an infant" to "China's model", and from "100 million cubic meters of production capacity" to "a dream of 10 billion cubic meters". This has created a magnificent epic in Sichuan and Chongqing, and become a model for commercial development of shale gas.

Further reading

Shale gas, mainly composed of methane, refers to the unconventional natural gas in an adsorbed or free state, occurring in organic-rich shale and its interlayers. As a clean and efficient energy resource and chemical raw material, it is widely used mainly for residential gas, urban heating, power generation, automobile fuel and chemical production.

Creating a Chinese model for shale gas development

In November 2012, Sinopec made an arrangement for drilling Jiaoye 1HF well in Jiaoshiba block, Fuling District, Chongqing, and tested high-yield industrial gas flow, opening a new chapter in the exploration and development of Fuling shale gas and the accelerated development of China's shale gas industry. In the past decade, Sinopec has aimed at "building it into a demonstration enterprise and leader". In so doing, it has continued to promote the construction of national shale gas demonstration zones and shale gas exploration and development demonstration bases, making China the first country outside North America to achieve commercial development of shale gas.

In March 2017, Sinopec built annual capacity of 10 billion cubic meters of shale gas as scheduled, and it can reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 12 million tons, equivalent to planting 110 million trees and stopping the use of 8 million vehicles. Its shale gas output topped 20, 30, and 40 billion cubic meters in 2018, 2020, and 2021, respectively, surpassing the four 10 billion cubic meters thresholds. It has realized leapfrog development, creating a "Chinese model" for the commercial development of shale gas. Over the past decade, Fuling Shale Gas Field has registered cumulative proven reserves of some 900 billion cubic meters, and produced more than 50 billion cubic meters of shale gas, setting a new record for the cumulative output among the shale gas fields in China.

Creating a "green model" for shale gas development in China

The development area of the Fuling Shale Gas Field, located at the intersection of the Yangtze River and the Wujiang River, is an important ecological reserve in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. And Sinopec has adhered to the guidelines of protecting the Yangtze River, and has attached equal importance to resource development and ecological conservation in a clean production mode featuring "reducing-recycling-reusing". For this, it has built a "four-in-one" environmental protection supervision mechanism, involving enterprise independent supervision, third-party supervision, government supervision and social supervision, in an effort to effectively protect waters, reuse wastewater and compliantly discharge sewage. Besides, it has put into operation the country's first project for treating sewage generated from shale gas production, with a 100% compliance rate of wastewater treatment. It also boasts hazard-free treatment and recycling of oil-based drilling cuttings, with the oil content of the treated drilling cuttings at less than 3‰ . The Fuling Shale Gas Field has won the titles of a green factory in the petroleum and chemical industry; one of the top 10 entities with environmental protection facilities open to the public in China; and a Chongqing-based environmental integrity enterprise. In addition, it was selected as a "green model" of the shale gas development in China by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Going forward, Sinopec will work faster to develop the gas field with an annual capacity of 1 trillion cubic meters in Fuling and a gas field group with an annual capacity of 500 billion cubic meters in southern Sichuan. In addition, it will strive to make breakthroughs in gas exploration in Songliao, Yichang, southern Guizhou, central Guangxi and other new areas, and endeavor to build in Sichuan and Chongqing shale gas production bases with an annual capacity of 10 billion cubic meters. It will keep improving the management system for shale gas focusing on project-based management, market-oriented operation, platform-based well spacing, factory-like operation, intelligent control, and low-carbon development, elevating China's shale gas development to a new level.