China’s national oil company has begun turning underground caverns into an oil storage facility able to hold 3 million cubic metres of crude oil in Ningbo, Zhejiang province.
China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is in charge of the $420m Daxie commercial oil reserve, which is due to be ready in 2026, Global Times reports.
It’s intended to provide a stable supply of crude to cities and provinces in east China and along the Yangtze River.
CNOOC handled the design and construction of the facility, which will consist of caverns and above ground drums.
If all goes to plan, the subterranean element should be able to operate without maintenance for as long as 50 years.
By bringing together disparate oil stores in one place, CNOOC hopes to cut operating costs in half and free up some 63ha of land for redevelopment.
As well as the tanks and caverns, the project will include digital systems that use AI image recognition to detect leaks automatically.