China started drilling ultra-deep holes in 2023 in a hunt for oil

The Shendi Take 1 drilling site in Xinjiang, China, in May 2023

Xinhua/Shutterstock

This year, the China National Petroleum Corporation started drilling what will be the deepest hole in China and be among the deepest holes in the world, in the north-western province of Xinjiang.

An announcement in May from China’s state-run news agency Xinhua said the project was “an unprecedented opportunity to study areas of the planet deep beneath the surface”, drilling down more than 11,000 metres into the billion-year-old strata of the remote Taklamakan desert.

The project’s more…