Chinese exploration teams on 7 April 2014 drilled a seven-kilometre-deep borehole in the resource-rich Himalayan region of Tibet. The drilling aimed to tap the oil and natural gas resources of the region.
China’s energy giants Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) carried out exploration projects on the Tibetan plateau.
CNPC began exploring the Qiangtang Basin in central Tibet in 1995 and subsequently estimated the basin's oil reserves at 10 billion tonnes, or more than 70 billion barrels.
In 1997, Sinopec established its first exploration centre in Nagqu county, with the aim of mapping the surrounding area with detailed seismic surveys and experimental drilling.
In August 2013, the China Geological Survey, under the Ministry of Land and Resources, signed a 20 million yuan (USD 3.5 million) exploration agreement with Sinopec after the Tibet region showed enormous oil and natural gas potential.
Tibet's altitude and geology make it among the world's most difficult drilling locations. Besides energy reserves, the plateau is also said to hold among China’s biggest reserves of copper, iron, gold and other minerals.
The discovery of commercially viable flows of oil and natural gas has the potential to develop Tibet's economy.
The world's deepest borehole, the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia, was drilled to a depth of 12,262 metres by the former Soviet Union in 1980s.
When: on 7 April 2014