China's Sinopec Corp. said on July 19 it has tapped a daily flow of 30 tonnes of oil and 1,500 cu. m of gas at a mature oilfield in east China's Jiangsu province.

The company said the flows, from exploration well Hua-2-ce in the Jiangsu oilfield, marked a breakthrough in unlocking 1.1 billion tonnes of prospective shale oil resources in the Subei basin.

The firm will accelerate the construction of a pilot shale oil production zone in the area, Sinopec said, without giving further details.

By late 2021, China produced only 35,000 bbl/d of shale oil – which is extracted from rock and is more complex and expensive to produce than conventional crude – mostly in the northern Ordos basin and northwestern Jungar basin. That equates to less than 1% of its total oil output.

But under a central government call to boost domestic energy supply security, national oil companies are making greater efforts to tap shale deposits.