China’s top unconventional gas producer Sinopec has made what it claims could be the country’s second largest shale gas discovery and aims to develop the find into a major production hub over the next five years.

The Xinye-1 discovery well drilled at the Xinchang structure in the country’s southwestern Sichuan basin flowed at a rate of 530,000 cubic metres per day of shale gas during tests, the company said.

The Xinchang structure is located in the Xinchangnan-Dongxi-Dingshan-Lingtanchang area on the southwestern rim of the Sichuan basin, which Sinopec estimates holds an estimated 1.19