Since 2000, China has embarked on a program to rapidly develop its coalbed methane (CBM) industry. CBM resources are now estimated at 30 - 35,000 billion cubic metres (900 - 1,050 trillion cu ft.), which are approximately three times the known conventional gas reserves in the United States. This potential for exploration and development has inevitably attracted international attention and has led to several new contracts with international partners. China United Coalbed Methane Corp. Ltd (CUCBM) aims to produce a staggering 10 billion cubic metres of gas annually by the year 2010.
| Petromin holds a significant interest in a CBM Production Sharing Contract (PSC) in China's Western Xinjiang Autonomous Region. The PSC executed with CUCBM covers 655 sq.km. (253 sections) on a lease owned by PetroChina. It is the first-ever CBM PSC executed by a foreign party on a PetroChina lease. The area is highly prospective for CBM reserves due to its thick coals and high gas content. In addition to vast gas reserves, the project area is linked to the West-East gas pipeline owned and operated by PetroChina. The pipeline is the key transportation vehicle in moving gas from the resource rich west to the densely populated and industrialized East. Spanning over 10 Chinese provinces, the annual gas transmission capacity is estimated by PetroChina at 420 billion cu ft.
Non-conventional & Enviro Energy Projects
Learn more about Petromin's projects in China
Download PDF »
The PSC is located on the southern margin of the Junggar sedimentary basin, which is a productive petroleum and natural gas region considered highly prospective for CBM based on the extensive coal resources. There are a number of active coal mines in the southern sector of the Junggar basin. The preliminary estimate of CBM potential for the whole Junggar Basin, as reported by CUCBM, is 69 trillion cu ft (approx 2 trillion cubic metres).
There is an existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure in the vicinity of the PSC that carries conventional natural gas to the nearby provincial capital city of Urumqi, and links the area to the major trans-national West-East pipeline. The Junggar Basin is targeted for further oil and natural gas pipeline development.