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Pipeline proposed to bring gas to Lhasa from Qinghai

(TibetanReview.net, Dec 2, 2008) — With its plan to exploit oil and gas reserves in the Tibet Autonomous Region having hit a snag, China’s state-run energy giant CNPC now wants to build a pipeline to transport gas to the region from Qinghai, reported Energy Tribune (TX, US) Dec 1. It said the feasibility study had been completed for the 1,365 km pipeline, which is expected to carry gas from the Tainan gasfield in Qinghai’s Qaidam basin to Lhasa. However, China’s top government planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, is yet to approve it.

The report said the pipeline will have throughput capacity of 1.2 billion cubic meters per year.

The pipeline decision is said to China’s failure to find major oil and gas deposits in the region. CNPC has drilled one well in Qiangtang basin, but there was not much to show for it.

In 2007, Sinopec set up a special team to explore the Naqu (Tibetan: Nagchu) area covering 10,000 square km. It carried out a two-year study in the Qinghai-Tibet basin, where Naqu is located, leading to estimates that the basin could hold 10 billion metric tons of oil and gas in place. Also, in 1999, Sinopec reported a major hydrocarbon discovery at Tibet’s Luenpola basin. An appraisal well at the basin, Lunqian 3, flowed an average of 214 barrels of oil a day during drilling. But the development plans hit a snag because the oil was too heavy to be economic, the report added.

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