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China Is Digging a 10,000

Sep 04, 2023Sep 04, 2023

On Tuesday, Chinese scientists began drilling a hole in Earth's crust that will be 10,000 meters or 32,808 feet deep for scientific research.

Set to both China's deepest borehole and Asia's deepest well, the hole is located in the Tarim Basin, which is northwest of the country's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to China's Xinhua News. "It provides a landmark in China's deep-Earth exploration, providing an unprecedented opportunity to study areas of the planet deep beneath the surface," a man stated in a video shared by the news agency.

In the video, a scientist named Lyu Xiaogang who is part of China National Petroleum Corporation, Chinese's largest state-owned oil producer leading the project, there are two purposes for the borehole. One is for scientific exploration and the other is to find oil and gas.

State-owned oil refiner Sinopec is also involved in the project. According to an article on China's International Energy Network, it has created deep-earth technology to help scan and drill through the earth, saying that the goal is to drill "through ‘Underground Mount Everest’ in 100 days."

"The depth of the Well is 624 meters higher than Everest," a Sinopec press release said. "Sinopec aims to launch pilot ultra-deep exploration projects and push the limits of depth through innovation-driven development of deep marine facies geological theory and exploration technologies."

The press release states that it is seeking to drill the hole in record time.

According to Xinhua News, the equipment, including drill bits and drill pipes weighing more than 2,000 tons or 4 million pounds, will enter more than 10 layers of Earth, including the Cretaceous layer, which was formed about 145 to 66 million years ago.

This project, which was first announced on May 1, comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping called for greater progress in deep Earth exploration in a speech in 2021. According to Bloomberg, examining Earth's layers can help identify mineral and energy resources and mitigate risks related to environmental catastrophes.

Currently, the biggest borehole in the world is 12,262 meters or 40,230 feet and is called the Kola Superdeep Borehole. This hole, which was made between 1970 and 1979, is located in Oblast, Russia.

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