Amu Darya Natural Gas Project Phase I

     Project Introduction

Located on the right bank of Amu Darya in Turkmenistan, and consisting of Block A and Block B, the Amu Darya Natural Gas Project is CNPC’s largest gas cooperation project overseas. At present, the first phase of the project has been put into operation on schedule and realized stable gas delivery, and the second phase is progressing as planned.

Covering an area of 983 square kilometers, the First Phase of Amu Darya Natural Gas Project is an integrated project comprising exploration of new blocks, appraisal and development of new fields, rejuvenation and adjustment of a mature field, as well as the build of a processing plant and its supporting facilities.

From June 2008 to December 2009, we completed 28 well sites, 90km-long gathering trunk line, a gas gathering station, a gas gathering center, a 5.5 bcm/a processing plant and a gas metering station. A communication network has been established to enable automatic monitoring in these well sites, stations and plants.

The project started operation on December 14, 2009. As of September 2012, it has produced 12.353 billion cubic meters of purified natural gas (12.259 billion cubic meters delivered for commercial uses), 99,600 tons of gas condensate and 469,700 tons of sulfur.


     Project Execution

Located in the Amu Darya basin, the contract area contains gas-bearing reservoirs of organic-rich bioherms, bioclasts, oolites and thin interbedded carbonates covered by thick Late Jurassic gypsum rocks. The sedimentary structures are quite complicated, featuring massive, thick layers of barrier reef beach bodies and thin interbedded limestone in large anticlines as well as low amplitude and lithologic traps. In addition to the difficult geological conditions listed above, the project was challenged by a harsh climate and lack of infrastructure at the start.

The goal of building an annual production capacity of 6 billion cubic meters required detailed exploration, appraisal, planning for development and production capacity building in four pre-identified reservoirs in addition to rejuvenating the Saman-Depe gas field. To accomplish all these on schedule, an integrated exploration and development mode was introduced. In Block A, exploratory wells were drilled, taking into consideration of development and capacity building. Exploitation efforts were initiated early to solve left behind exploration-related problems in development wells. Exploration and exploitation activities were carried out progressively, and research and production efforts were run in parallel to facilitate the application of new technologies.

A project management approach, known as IPMT + EPCC, was introduced. This mechanism helped make the best of each participating party by defining clearly their roles and functions thereof to ensure smooth implementation.

The First Phase Project has been smoothly implemented as planned with all objectives accomplished.

  • Re-assessment and fine reservoir description of the mature field, as well as proactive research and overall deployment in new exploration areas resulted in an increase in proven reserves by 66% to ensure the gas source.

  • Horizontal drilling, slant drilling and reservoir stimulation techniques were used to boost the average per-well production rate from 400,000 m3/d (before shut-down) to more than 800,000 m3/d and double the overall production capacity from 3.3 bcm/a (before shut-down) to 6.0 bcm/a. The total number of producing wells decreased from 48 to 34, or by 29%, to meet the objective of “sparse well yet high-yield” development.

  • Both the exploration success rate and drilling success rate were 100%; sulfur recovery rate was 98.8%; water recovery rate was increased by 20% with waste water properly treated; operation of the natural gas processing plant were smooth and efficient; manifesting the benefits of technological integration and innovation.

  • Efficient organization and management ensured the timely commissioning of phase one of the project.

  • The lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) of the project was zero for 45.21 million man-hours. The operations were free of injury, incident and pollution.
  •      Project Impact

    As CNPC’s largest gas cooperation project overseas, the Amu Darya Natural Gas Project has been operating stably since commissioning, and has become an important source for gas import, playing an outstanding role in alleviating the gas shortage in China. Meantime, by promoting the gas export in Turkmenistan, the project has helped drive local economic development, and realize diversified gas export in the country.

    CNPC abides by the laws and regulations of the host country and fully respects the local traditions and cultures. We have put great efforts in public welfares in Turkmenistan in the fields of culture, education, medical treatment, helping the handicapped, improving the infrastructure condition and recruiting the local people.

    CNPC has assisted 85 excellent Turkmen students to study in China, provided treatment equipment for medical institutions, repaired classrooms and heating facilities for schools, and put more than RMB 24.12 million in its public welfare endeavors. Focusing on local recruitment and employee training, we have local employees taking up 70% of the total staff, and have trained more than 60,000 local employees and created over 15,000 jobs for the local communities.

         Major Events

    Apr. 2006
    CNPC reached into a basic agreement on a joint natural gas project with the Ministry of Oil and Gas Industry and Mineral Resources of Turkmenistan.

    Jul. 17, 2007
    CNPC signed a production sharing contract and a natural gas sale-and-purchase agreement with Turkmen State Agency for Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources and Turkmengaz State Concern respectively.

    Jun. 27, 2008
    The foundations are laid of the First Gas Processing Plant of the Amu Darya natural gas project.

    Aug. 29, 2008
    A framework agreement is signed with Turkmengazi State Concern on expanding cooperation in the natural gas sector, while a technical agreement supplementary to the natural gas purchase and sale agreement is also signed between CNPC and Turkmengazi State Concern.

    Dec. 2009
    The First Gas Processing Plant of the Amu Darya natural gas project became operational.

    Dec. 14, 2009
    Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline became operational.

    Jun. 30, 2011
    Natural gas coming from the Right Bank of Amu-Darya River in Turkmenistan arrived at Guangzhou City through the Second West-East Gas Pipeline.

    Dec. 13, 2011
    Ground breaking ceremony for No.2 Gas Processing Plant of the Amu Darya project was held in Turkmenistan, with a designed capacity of 8 billion cubic meters per year.