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South Sulige Gas Project, Explore Gas on The "Grindstone"

The Sulige gas field is located in the abdomen of the Maowusu sandy land on the Ordos Plateau. In this semi-desert, there’s sandstorm in the spring, high temperatures in summer, and the lowest temperature in winter could be minus 30 degrees. With 1.64 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, the 55,000 square kilometers of the sandy ground is the only integral field in China with over 1 trillion cubic meters in reserves.

  • Operators working on a wellhead. Cluster of shale gas on the Sulige South gas.
    Operators working on a wellhead. Cluster of shale gas on the Sulige South gas.
  • Sand dunes and savanna around the Sulige South gas field, China.
    Sand dunes and savanna around the Sulige South gas field, China.
  • Sulige 5, natural gas processing plant, China.
    Sulige 5, natural gas processing plant, China.

Cooperated With Chinese Partner Exploring Gas on The "Grindstone"

The harsh climate is not the only obstacle to the project. The South Sulige gas field belongs to a typical "three low" reservoir (low permeability, low production, low pressure), which is called "grindstone" in Chinese because of its tight reservoir. As its Mongolian name implies, Sulige means half-cooked meat, this gas field is like a juicy fruit on a thorn tree. Although it has considerable reserves, it is very difficult to exploit.

In 2006, Total signed a 30-year Production-Sharing Agreement (PSA) with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for the evaluation, development and production of tight gas in South Sulige. Total holds 49% of the partnership, mainly providing technical support and project management assistance. This is a flagship project of cooperation between Total and PetroChina in China. It is also the largest upstream project for Total in China at present.

Innovation to Promote Efficiency

Total and PetroChina have been worked together in the past eight years. With the spirit of innovation and rely on our rich industrial experiences, we found the best solution for wells deployment, improved the drilling efficiency substantially, and raised the production of the single well. The slim-hole drilling technology introduced by Total not only brought down the steep operating costs usually associated with the complex geological environment but also had a softer impact on the ecological system by reducing the amount of produced waste. In 2012, the Sulige South project put on stream. In February 2019, the accumulated gas wellhead production exceeded 10 billion cubic meters. Total’s consistent track record in high health and safety standards and efficiency in production is a critical underwriter of the stable gas supply to Beijing, Xi’an, Yinchuan, and many other local markets. 

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