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R&D Progress
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CNPC's major research and development progresses, evaluated and chosen by our research institutions and experts every year, represent our annual remarkable achievements in major scientific and technological projects and progresses in technology integration and application, in terms of oil & gas exploration and production, refining and chemical, engineering and construction, and equipment manufacturing.

All these reflect the improvement of CNPC's core competitiveness and independent innovation, and provide enhanced technical support to sustained and coordinated growth of the company.

In 2017, we boosted technological R&D and made significant progress in increasing hydrocarbon discovery rate, enhancing producible rate of reserves and ultimate recovery, and promoting localization of sophisticated equipment, as well as in tackling technological challenges in crude oil processing, cost reduction of chemical raw materials and clean energy production.

Exploration and Development: Breakthroughs have been made in glutenite exploration, resulting in a major discovery at the Mahu Sag in Xinjiang, with newly added 3P reserves of 1 billion tons. Horizontal well drilling enables large-scale production of tight oil and gas resources and opens up a new strategic reserve-replacement area.

The evaluation techniques for structural traps in the foreland thrust belts have solved technical problems such as anisotropic pre-stack depth migration and overthrust and superimposed structural belt modeling, resulting in a remarkable improvement in the quality of salt/subsalt imaging and leading to a breakthrough in exploration activities in the Tarim Basin of Xinjiang.

In view of the world-class difficulties such as micro- and nano-pore throat gas-water seepage in ultra-low permeability-tight sandstone gas reservoirs, a large physical simulation experiment system has been developed for improving productivity and recovery rate. As the state-of-the-art physical simulation system in terms of performance indicators and modeling system, it will greatly facilitate China’s theoretical and experimental research in complex gas reservoirs.

Key technologies in residual oil simulation, profile control by polymer microspheres and lateral broadband fracturing have been developed for waterflooding of low permeability and ultra-low permeability reservoirs, enhancing the recovery rate by 6-8 percent at two blocks in Changqing Oilfield.

Innovative exploration and development techniques for shale gas have contributed to a significant drop in the overall costs per well and an accelerated pace of shale gas development, with the yearly output soaringup from 200 million cubic meters to 3 billion cubic meters.

Refining and Chemicals:  Clean gasoline tests under the National VI Standards have proved successful and clean diesel production experiments have seen major progress, promoting a new round of fuel quality improvement.

Catalysts with high gasoline yields and low carbon emissions have been successfully developed and widely used to enable a decrease in the company’s diesel-gasoline ratio.

Leveraging major progress in high-value production of polyolefin products, the company has launched 20 polyolefin brands and developed all-round R&D capability for catalysts, comonomers and polymers.

A new phosphorus-free polymerization process for SBR production has been developed. Mass production was realized for nine synthetic rubber brands including e-SBR, EPR and Nd-BR.

Oilfield Services: Geophysical prospecting: GeoEast-Diva, a proprietary velocity modeling solution, is developed to tackle a range of seismic exploration issues in relation to the complex surface conditions in domestic exploration areas, marking a leading position in velocity modeling for onshore complex surfaces and formations. The innovative method for controlled induction of strong perturbation has contributed to the development of the EV56 highprecision broadband vibroseis, which is put into use at Xinjiang, Qinghai and Liaohe oildfields to enable the shift from more stable low-frequency to broadband.

Well Logging: An innovative azimuthal acoustic reflection imaging logging tool has been developed to support the acquisition of geological data and the discovery of complex reservoirs. Meanwhile, it provides technical parameters for oriented perforating, directional sidetracking and acid fracturing, playing an important role in stratigraphic evaluation.

Well Drilling: To address potentially risks in sustaining casing pressure and gas blow-by, a new set of cementing techniques focused on high-strength, low-elastic modulus cement and well integrity have been developed to facilitate the exploration and development of deep and unconventional natural gas reservoirs in a safe and efficient manner.A range of techniques for treatment and recycling of drilling wastes and fracturing fluids, including fine sorting, centrifugal separation and electrosorption, have been widely applied, increasing the recovery rate and reducing the costs significantly. Drilling and completion techniques for 5-1/2” sidetracks are used to reduce the average construction period from 100 days to 40 days, with the length of the horizontal section increased from 600 meters to 900 meters and the daily output increased from 5,000 cubic meters to 59,000 cubic meters per well.

Offshore engineering: China’s first offshore gas hydrate production project has been successfully implemented, making breakthroughs in connection with silty reservoirs, shallow burial depths, low temperatures under deepwater, formation sand flows and hydrate formation, etc. to maximize the duration of gas production and output and solve flow assurance, environmental safety issues.

Oil & Gas Storage and Transportation: 

The third-generation, large-capacity natural gas pipeline technology has taken shape. The SCADA system for long-distance pipeline transportation has been tested successfully in the Dagang-Ji’nan-Zaozhuang Refined Product Pipeline and the Jining (Hebei-Jiangsu) Natural Gas Pipeline and will be used in the Eastern Route of Russia-China Natural Gas Pipeline.

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