Tuesday, March 5, 2024

China to Dig Deepest0-Ever Hole into the Earth’s Crust, with a Depth of More than 10,000 Meters

China’s largest oil producer has begun drilling a deep borehole in the remote Taklamakan Desert. The borehole is expected to reach a depth of over 10,000 meters and could provide valuable geological insights and access to ultra-deep oil reserves.

The China National Petroleum Corporation initiated the drilling on May 30th, aiming to reach a depth of 11,100 meters. Located in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, the borehole will be among the deepest in the world. Currently, the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia holds the record for the deepest hole at 12,262 meters.

Sinopec, a petroleum refiner involved in the project, plans to drill the borehole, known as Project Deep Earth 1-Yuejin 3-3XC Well, in record time. They aim to reach the maximum depth within 457 days. The drilling will penetrate rocks formed during the Cretaceous period, which existed between 66 million to 145 million years ago.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has identified “deep Earth” exploration as one of the country’s strategic frontiers. This focus on geological exploration is driven by the goal to reduce China’s dependence on mineral, metal, oil, and gas imports.

The Tarim Basin in Xinjiang is known for its significant and deep oil fields. Sinopec has previously developed ultra-deep wells in the region, including the Shunbei oil and gas field with wells exceeding 8,000 meters in depth.

Aside from accessing oil reserves, the drilling project could provide researchers with valuable insights into the unique geology of the Tarim Basin. The basin, formed over 200 million years ago during the closure of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean, collects water from three mountain ranges.

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