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Protecting Euphrates Poplars in the Desert

On May 13, 2007, Well Ma-23 was spudded at a newly-selected well site in Santanghu oil region in Tuha Oilfield. If the well had been drilled at its originally designated site located in a Euphrates poplar forest, at least a dozen Euphrates poplars would have had to be chopped down. To protect this kind of rare tree, Tuha Oilfield Company relocated the well site.

Santanghu oil province is located in Yiwu County, Xinjiang, where there are nearly 5,300 hectares of Euphrates poplar forests, about 670 hectares of which are adjacent to the exploration area of Tuha Oilfield. To prevent exploration and production operations from affecting the growth of the Euphrates poplar forest, Tuha Oilfield Company made every effort to minimize the impact on these trees, including relocating well sites, detouring roads and reducing the size of station yards. In 2007, over 10 well sites were relocated and extended reach wells were drilled, increasing costs by RMB 20 million. Additionally, gathering stations in new exploration areas were reduced from nine to six, and 30,000 square meters of land remained undisturbed. Throughout the whole process of oilfield development, no single Euphrates poplar was damaged in the area's thousands of hectares of Euphrates poplar forests.

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