CHANGCHUN, March 20 (Xinhua) -- China's highly automated deep continental scientific drilling set has been deployed for the first time in the country's largest but fast-depleting oilfield in Daqing, Heilongjiang Province, for tapping deep stratum oil reserves.
Developed under the Sinoprobe Program, a government-funded earth science program for exploring the composition, structure and evolution of the continental lithosphere, the equipment is designed to reach a depth of 10,000 meters.
Sun Youhong, chief scientist in charge of operating the equipment, said on Thursday that the drilling in Daqing is expected to reach a depth beyond 6,600 meters, the stratum of which belongs to the Cretaceous Period of 150 million years ago.
According to Sun, the drilling will "start soon."
He said the driller will fetch stratum samples from the drilling point, which will assist not only with the exploration of new oil reserves in Daqing, but also provide information about climate conditions in the Cretaceous Period
Daqing Oilfield, the largest oilfield explored by China's major oil and gas producer PetroChina, produced slightly over 40 million tonnes of crude oil in 2013, marking the 11th consecutive year in which the crude oil output of Daqing Oilfield exceeded 40 million tonnes.
Chen Xuanhua, head of the Sinoprobe Exploration Program with the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, said the new technology is likely to lead to discovery of a "new Daqing Oilfield" underneath the current one.