China’s journey to the centre of the Earth

The drilling machinery in the Tarim Basin, China.

China’s journey to the centre of the Earth Credit: People's Daily, China/ Twitter

China plans to drill down to 11,000 meters to investigate rocks from the Cretaceous period 145 million years ago. 

The China National Petroleum Corporation is leading the project which has been hailed as a landmark in China’s deep-Earth exploration. The project will provide data to scientists to study these unknown depths of the Earth.

Two thousand tonnes of drilling equipment will be used in a project expected to take a very specific 457 days. The drilling machinery is designed to withstand the high temperatures and massive atmospheric pressure expected as it approaches the Earth’s core.

People’s Daily, China posted a picture of the massive drilling equipment on Twitter saying: “The drilling of China’s first borehole over 10,000 meters deep for scientific exploration began on Tuesday in NW China’s Tarim Basin, a great feat in China’s deep-Earth exploration. The project is expected to be completed in 457 days.”

China has specific aims to explore space and the depths of the earth as requested by President Xi Jinping who has also aims to boost domestic energy supplies including those derived from fossil fuels.

The Xinjiang region, where the drilling is to take place is known for having rich natural resources. Sinopec, China’s largest oil refinery company has found large oil and gas deposits in the Tarim basin, a mountainous and desert region.

The proposed hole still won’t beat Russia’s 2,262-metre super-chasm known as the Kola Superdeep Borehole which is the world’s deepest manmade borehole.

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Written by

David Laycock

Dave Laycock has always written. Poems, songs, essays, academic papers as well as newspaper articles; the written word has always held a great fascination for him and he is never happier than when being creative. From a musical background, Dave has travelled the world performing and also examining for a British music exam board. He also writes, produces and performs and records music. All this aside, he is currently fully focussed on his journalism and can’t wait to share more stories from around the world and beyond.