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Geophysical prospectors' hard work in Xinjiang

(CNTV)

08:42, May 23, 2012

Before oil and gas reserves can be tapped, scientists must first determine whether the underground layers contain the fuel. And that work is done by geophysical prospectors. CCTV reporter Li Nan visited one of these teams in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China and has this story.

It takes hours of rough driving to reach the temporary base of the No. 247 Geophysical Prospecting Team near Kuqa County in the Tarim Basin. The team has more than 100 members; most of them are working in the surrounding hills and won't be back for days. Living conditions are quite basic and simple.

Dong Gang, Leader of No. 247 Geophysical Prospecting Team, said, "We are in the initial step of oil and gas production, so we always work in unexplored areas. Sleeping in the field can be very tough. And now we are in the hills, it can get even more dangerous."

The team is currently working on a 2-D scan of 2000 square kilometers of surrounding hills. But they have to finish their work in three months.

Dong Gang also said, "The current gas fields can't meet the demand of the West-East Natural Gas Transmission Project. Our job is to find more natural gas reserves. So the task is urgent."

It takes another 40 minutes' drive followed by 30 minutes' of climbing to reach some of the crew. There we find them drilling a hole into a hilltop for a later seismic experiment.

Sometimes the workers even have to rely on ropeways to transfer machinery between peaks. The West-East Natural Gas transmission Project was launched to ease gas shortages in the eastern coastal areas. So far, Tarim has transported almost 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas under the project.

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