China's Sinopec Corp said on Wednesday it had completed building the first phase of a new shale gas field, Weirong, in southwestern Sichuan province with an annual production capacity of 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Weirong, located in Neijiang and Zigong cities, is the state energy giant's second major shale gas development after Fuling, which is also located in the same Sichuan basin.
With an average well depth of 3,750 meters (2.33 miles)beneath earth's surface, Sinopec has tapped proven reserves of 124.7 bcm at the deep shale gas field.
Under the first phase of development that started around late 2019, Sinopec said it had drilled 56 wells attached to eight drilling platforms.
Sinopec, Asia's biggest oil refiner, will proceed to Phase-II development that will lift Weirong's annual output capacity to 3 bcm in 2022, or sufficient to cover 16 million households' annual consumption of the fuel.
Currently, Weirong is pumping 3.5 million cubic meters of gas a day.
China's national energy producers are ramping up natural gas supplies in recent weeks of both domestic productions and imports to meet a demand surge amid a colder-than-usual winter and robust post-pandemic manufacturing activity. (Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)