Do the Chinese want to drill into the ground?  They go less and less

In 2021, the “Deep Earth Exploration Initiative” was launched with the approval of Xi Jinping himself, which includes, among other things, Chinese oil companies. For China, this is of course an opportunity to obtain energy resources, which in turn will enable it to become more independent from other economies, as well as to further develop the country.

As for China, it is also an opportunity to make extraordinary scientific discoveriese, this would also help the entire country. At least two wells are being drilled, one of them with an area of ​​9,000 square metres. One meter deep, and one at 11 thousand. meter. However, the record holder is the USSR, which drilled to a depth of 12.3 km in the 1970s.. However, the Russians were more interested in rubbing the noses of the Americans, who eventually called off their “excavations” at the bottom of the ocean.

The Tarim Basin in Xinjiang contains some of the largest and deepest oil fields in China, which is why China believes it will find other sources of raw materials deeper. For scientists, it is primarily an opportunity to find new minerals that will provide more information about the Earth's history. In the Tarim Basin region, the basin aims to collect water flowing from three mountain ranges It is believed to have formed during the closing of the ancient Asian Ocean more than 200 million years ago.

So far, the drilling has barely touched the ground layer, as only 0.09% of it has been excavated. Its depth. Although China has no intention of breaking records, just realizing the amount of stuff lurking underground makes us certain that not everything has been discovered. For this reason, the “Asian Tiger” is drilling two deep wells in the country.

The Soviet Union broke records

The previously mentioned USSR drilling operations may also provide some motivation. The Russians began drilling on May 24, 1970 in the Kola Peninsula and quickly reached a depth of 7,000 m. 9 years after the start of work, the record depth of 9,583 m was exceeded, and in 1983 it stopped at 12,000 m. 66m, and when drilling resumed a year later, the drilling string broke and it was necessary to start from a depth of 7000m. M.

However, the discoveries made afterwards were particularly interesting. Well, at a depth of about 7 thousand meters, plankton fossils that are more than 2 billion years old have been found. At this depth, the temperature was 120 degrees Celsius, making their survival in such conditions particularly surprising. More than 24 ancient species of organisms have been found in this material.

Photo: D.F. Saburov/WikiCommons

The ultra-deep Kola well has been drilled for more than 20 years

At a depth of 5 thousand meters, water was found. There, it was 70 degrees Celsius, and it was quite surprising that… At this depth, the Earth's crust is theoretically too dense for water to move freely.

There is no doubt that the Chinese are counting on discoveries on a similar scale. After all, the Earth's mantle makes up 68 percent. The entire mass of our planet, while humanity has barely penetrated the crust itself. Depending on location, its depth ranges from 10 to 70 km. Meanwhile, humanity will likely find the most interesting discoveries in the crust. But can it be achieved? Good question.

Today, the facility is just a ruinPhoto: Evgeny Anatolyevich Shelkovnikov / Wikimedia Commons

Today, the facility is just a ruin

However, excavations in the USSR showed how difficult and complex this process was. Of course, we are talking about technology being used 50 years ago, so some difficulties can certainly be avoided now. The drill string in question broke for the second time at a depth of 12,000 metres. 262 m, where the temperature was supposed to exceed 200 degrees Celsius, after penetrating to a depth of 7 thousand. AD, rocks with fragile layers appeared, which led to the formation of large chips and made further work difficult. Meanwhile, the head itself also broke, so it's no wonder the work has lasted more than 20 years.

In addition, there is the issue of the costs of such a project – and we are talking not about one well, but about two wells being implemented across the country. The Americans, who were trying to drill in the ocean, were forced to stop their work due to high costs.

However, the Chinese may want to send a strong signal to the Western world through their actions: You have failed, but we will succeed. Who knows if they will stop at kilometers nine and eleven. Maybe it will just be a test before subsequent drilling, and they will try to drill to the surface of the Earth?

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