On Monday, state-run Chinese oil majors CNPC and Sinopec, also Asia's largest refinery, said they were speeding up drilling and exploration from major tight oil and shale gas formations in the country's western regions. CNPC also said that new exploration in shale gas, tight oil and tight gas will lead to growth in production for the country's largest oil and gas producer.
The company added that the drilling cycle at the Mahu field in Xinjiang, one of CNPC's largest findings in recent years, fell around 40 percent the previous year. A Reuters report said this implies that oil wells are being completed and produced at a faster rate.
Race against a ticking clock
China's ambitions to develop more of its own oil and gas reserves is a race against a ticking clock. The middle kingdom has already bypassed the U.S. to become the world's top oil importer, with much of those oil imports having geopolitical strings attached.