Chinese software to help detect reserves
China has independently developed a software for resources exploration that aims to raise the operational efficiency of oilfields and coal mines, a process which promises to break the monopoly of international companies in the sector.
The software, call iPreSeis, is an application using seismological waves to image and quantitatively predict oil and other reserves.
The idea of developing such software was initiated in 2003. After more than a decade, the Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development — under the China National Petroleum Corporation, the country’s largest energy developer — announced the success of the innovation.
Zhao Bangliu, chief engineer of the exploration and production subsidiary of CNPC, said the company had already applied this software in many of its overseas oilfields.
“We are open to share this technology with both domestic and foreign companies, not only in the oil industry, but also coal and nuclear companies where it can be used for locating resources predicting reserves,” he said.
Owing to different conditions in oilfields, it was hard to estimate the cost reduction of oil exploration by using the new software, but the price of the software itself was 60 percent lower than similar foreign products, Zhao said.
According to the institution, iPreSeis is covered by several national i nvention patents and it is considered a crucial achievement in China’s onshore petroleum and natural gas exploration tech- percent
lower is the cost of iPreSeis software compared to similar products abroad
In a deep oil exploration block in a domestic geological basin, the drilling success rate surged to more than 86 percent from the previous 60 percent after using the software, CNPC said.
Yu Baocai, deputy general manager of CNPC, said the oil industry was facing falling prices, higher production costs and lower resource quality globally.
“Energy explorers need to make greater efforts to extract resources in difficult areas and try to find resources through innovative technology,” he said.
“The need for scientific innovation is now more urgent than at any time in the past.”
Li Yan, an energy analyst at consultancy Shandong Longzhong Information Technology Co, said the new technology would be helpful for predicting the quantity of the underground oil resources, which would raise production efficiency.
However, China’s domestic resources policy doesn’t encourage large-scale oil developments because of the prevailing conditions in the international crude market, which means that this technological advance would not raise the total national production anytime soon, he said.
“In fact, affected by the weakening global crude price, China’s domestic crude output is predicted to fall 6 percent to 7 percent year-on-year in 2016, which is the first drop in the past five years,” Li said.