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Sinopec aims to sweeten energy supply

By Du Juan (China Daily)

08:37, January 22, 2013

Sinopec Group's Puguang gas field in southwestern Sichuan province. The gas field is the largest high-sulfur natural gas field in the country, with proven reserves of 412.2 billion cubic meters, and has produced about 10 billion cu m of natural gas in the past year. Hu Qingming / For China Daily

Company to explore and tap rich reserves of sour natural gas

China will boost sour natural gas exploration to ease the country's tight energy supply, said an official at China Petroleum and Chemical Corp on Monday.

Puguang gas field, owned by the company, also known as the Sinopec Group, has produced about 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the past year, accounting for about 8.3 percent of China's total natural gas output.

The gas field, located in southwestern Sichuan province, is the largest high-sulfur natural gas field in the country, with proven reserves of 412.2 billion cu m.

"China is one of a few countries that owns the technology to explore natural gas in high-sulfur gas fields on a large scale," said Cao Yaofeng, vice-president of Sinopec.

Natural gas accounted for 23.7 percent of global primary energy consumption in 2011, while in China it was only 4.5 percent, resulting in an urgent call to develop natural gas resources as part of the country's energy strategy.

China has rich reserves of natural gas with high sulfur levels - or sour natural gas - with proven reserves of more than 1 trillion cu m in total, according to Sinopec.

"The geographic condition in southwestern China, the area rich in sour natural gas, is difficult for exploration," said Qian Li, senior industry analyst at the energy consultancy ICIS C1 Energy.

"So the successful sour gas exploration in the Puguang gas field is a breakthrough for the industry."

The technology has been applied in Sinopec's other high-sulfur natural gas fields, including Dawan, Yuanba and Xinglong in Sichuan province and Chongqing municipality.

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