China Discovers 100 Million Tons of Oil on Uyghur Land

FILE - In this March 27, 2018 file photo, shows an oilfield controlled by a U.S-backed Kurdish group, in Rmeilan, Hassakeh province, Syria. Syrians living in government-controlled areas have survived eight years of war now face a new scourge in the form of widespread fuel shortages. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)
Hussein Malla/AP Photo

Chinese state media on Thursday announced the discovery of a massive oilfield in Tarim Basin, located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where millions of the local Muslims have been confined to concentration camps and “re-educated” to become better Communist subjects.

China’s Global Times detailed the discovery:

Mantan One Well, located in the Tarim Basin of Xinjiang and developed by the Tarim Oilfield branch of China National Petroleum Corp, contains 54-meter oil and gas reservoirs that could produce 624 cubic meters of crude oil each day and 371,000 cubic meters of natural gas, according to tests. 

The drilling depth hits 7.67 kilometers.

The reservoirs represent 38 percent of total oil and gas resources in the Tarim Basin, China’s largest oil and gas-bearing basin with resources exceeding 17.8 billion tons. In 2019, the Tarim Oilfield oil output exceeded 28.51 million tons. 

A large-scale oilfield with a 30 million ton oil production capacity is expected to be built by the end of 2020. 

State energy company PetroChina announced the first discovery of natural gas and oil condensate from an exploratory well in the Tarim Basin in October 2019. Exploration of the region’s oil resources began long before that. The Chinese government has been making plans to exploit those resources on a massive scale since the 1990s, when at least 20 million tons of crude oil were extracted from early projects in the basin.

In December 2018, after Chinese dictator Xi Jinping ordered an all-out effort to improve “national energy security” by finding domestic sources of oil, PetroChina announced its first huge strike in the Tarim region and predicted it would be pumping 30 million tons of oil and 26 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year by 2020.

Leaked Chinese documents recently revealed that the oppression of the Uyghurs began in 2014 with a manufactured “terrorism” crisis in Xinjiang the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) always knew was far less serious than it claimed. The infamous re-education camps began exploding in size during 2016. 

Although the documents evidently did not mention Tarim Basin oil projects, it is not unreasonable to suppose oil operations growing steadily during the 2010s were one reason the CCP was willing to risk some diplomatic embarrassment and friction with Muslim nations in order to tighten its grip on Xinjiang province.

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