China Petroleum

Note: Just now an alumnus of mine from Korea asked me several questions about China oil industry. I tried my best answer them. Then I had the impulsion to write a post to introduce China oil industry very briefly.

In Chinese, petroleum is called 石油 (pronounced as shi2 you2). What the name implies the rock oil (oil from the rock). The oil history of China could be traced back to 4th century A.D. or earlier. At that time, it was called as rock paint, or rock fatty water. In the book named Dream Pool Essays, the author Kuo Shen named it as rock oil. People drilled the oil well and transport the oil using bamboo poles.

With the development of modern industry, the oil industry of China did not make any progress until the mid 1950s. Before the Daqing oil field in Northeast of China was discovered, China was called an oil-poor country. In fact, the oil industry of China initialed from Yumen Oilfield, which locates in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest of China. In 1955, the Department of Petroleum Industry was founded. Until the year of 1963, after the Daqing Oilfield’s discovery and production, the oil production could meet the domestic needs. Afterwards, China discovered North China Oilfield, Dagang Oilfield, Shengli Oilfield, and Liaohe Oilfield. In 1976, the annual oil production reached 100000000 tons, half of which was provided by Daqing Oilfield. From 1973, China began exported oil to Japan and other countries. The Department of Petroleum Industry was revoked in 1975 and re-established in 1978. Ten years later, China National Oil Corporation (CNPC) took placed of the Department of Petroleum Industry, which also covered China Petrochemical Corporation (SinoPec, founded in 1983). China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) was founded in 1982. CNPC focused on upstream business while SinoPec ran the mid- and downstream business. In 1998, the original CNPC was separated into CNPC Group and SinoPec Group. Then, China had three oil giants. Later, each group has their E&P and refinery subsidiaries listed on New York Stock Exchange, Hongkong, or other places respectively as PetroChina, SinoPec, and CNOOC. After the split, CNPC owns 12 oilfields, 14 refineries and 5 marketing compaies, while SinoPec holds 12 oilfields, 22 refineries, and 5 production and 1 oil company belonged to East Union Petrochemical. Besides, oil companies and oil stations belonged to 13 provincial level regions were given to CNPC, and oil companies and oil stations belonged to the rest 22 provincial level regions were given to SinoPec. Then, both of them became integrated oil companies1. The detail information about them could be found on their official websites.

The statistic data shows that in 2009, the apparent oil consumption of China is 408.375 million tons, and the net import oil rate is 218.885 million tons. More than 50% of oil is imported. The import dependence ratio is increasing due to increasing needs and decreasing domestic production. From this sense, China is an oil-poor country really. Thus, those three oil giants of China are taking active part in purchasing oversea oil and gas assets.

China also has several universities or colleges which run the petroleum programs, such as China University of Petroleum (Beijing and Shandong), Northeast Petroleum University (formerly was Northeast or Daqing Institute of Petroleum), Southwest Institute of Petroleum, Changjiang University (formerly was Jianghan Institute of Petroleum), Xi’an Shiyou University, and so on. Chinese Academy of Sciences and the national oil companies also have graduate schools in petroleum industry.


1. CNPC and SinoPec were founded in Beijing on Jul 27th, 1998 (Chinese).


iPhone’s Problem 1

Last week, there was something wrong with my cell phone, iPhone 1st generation. I robbed this one from my wife one year ago. As we know, usually iPhone was sold with AT&T contract within US. This one is refurbished and sold without the contract. Most of time I am on campus, where there is wi-fi provided. It is not worthy spending extra money on data plan. During the past year, it worked very well for me. I do not have many calls every day, since I have a lot of contacts on my list. Several days ago, I called my friend, but there was no response when I pressed the numbers on the touchscreen. Then I tried to call them via VoIP, which transmit phone calls through wireless internet. The weired thing was that my friend could call me and I could pick up the phone. Google offered me a lot of help as usual. There are two choices that could solve the problem. One is resetting network settings, and the other is showing my caller ID. I tried both, but only the former works.

Desktops and Laptops I Have

Today I want to talk about the computers I have. Now I have three laptops (Dell Inspiron 600m, Lenovo ThinkPad T400, and IBM ThinkPad X61t) and two desktops (Dell Dimension 5150, and unbranded) at home. Usually I use one laptop (T400) and one desktop (5150) at the same time. In Oct. 2004, I bought 600m from the official website. At that time, my first choice was IBM ThinkPad T41. Because of my limited budget, I had to give it up. A type of Gateway laptop fell into my eyes later. Unfortunately, when I decided to purchase it at Bestbuy, the price went up, which exceeded my budget. Then, there was a deal on dell’s website. I spent $1300 on 600m with $150 mail-in-rebate. It seemed to be a not bad deal, but a month later, Dell cut the price into half because of the new products introduced. Not the worst, only worse. Within the warranty period, I replaced the keyboard, touchpad, optical drive, and the screen. Until the summer 2006, I cannot bear it any more, then I purchased the 5150. The only reason that I bought Dell’s product is the cheap price. I replaced the keyboard and mouse within the warranty, too. Sometimes the machine could not start up. Also the LCD monitor did not display anything after I press the power button. I heard that there was extended warranty from the credit card company. The results I discussed with citi were not bad. I replaced the power unit supply and monitor with their help. In addition, I added one 250GB hard drive in 2007, then replaced a 1.5TB hard drive early this year. Also the memory was upgraded from 1GB to 3GB. A good deal of video card from MSI offer the computer an HDMI connection. This desktop runs very well till now. Usually when I was working on my T400, 5150 is playing music or broadcasting tv programs via internet. In Jan. 2009, I found a deal from Lenovo outlet website, then I spent around $650 on this new T400. This cool and quiet lappy offers me a lot of help on work and study. Last month, there was something wrong with the OS due to upgrading software. A couple of weeks ago I restored the computer into factory configuration. Despite of two malfunction keys on the keyboard, it looks like a brand new one. In fact before I purchased T400, I bought one HP tx2500z. I intended to buy x61t, but the cheaper one interested me more. That tablet PC with Windows Vista Business ran very slowly, even slower than a 10-year-old desktop in my office. Besides, the overheat caused the computer freeze frequently. Finally I returned it, although HP offered me more compensations. My wife knew I had a complex for tablet PC, especially for x61t. Last summer, she gave one to me as a gift. When I received the x61t, I found that overheat is the common characteristic among tablet PCs. Also, Windows Vista consumed too much resources. Once I wanted to change it to windows XP Tablet version or windows 7. It is not very wise to spend extra money on the old OS. And it is not very easy to find the compatible driver for the new OS. The only thing I can do is leaving it alone. A friend of mine gave an unbranded desktop without screen to me last month. There is no hard drive in the box. I can put the 250GB hard drive which I uninstall from 5150. If I had time later, I would set it up and connect it with the only monitor I have via D-sub port.

Petroleum Engineering Handbook

In the year of 2006, SPE published a set of reference books, which is called Petroleum Engineering Handbook. This set of books included seven volumes and covered general engineering, drilling engineering, facilities and construction engineering, production operations engineering, reservoir engineering, emerging and peripheral technologies, and indexes and standards. The 2006 edition handbook could be traced back to the 1962 edition Petroleum Production Handbook by Thomas C. Frick as Editor-in-Chief and the 1987 edition Petroleum Engineering Handbook by Howard B. Bradley as Editor-in-Chief. The 1962 edition handbook had two volumes (Vol. 1: Mathematics, Production Equipment, and Vol. 2: Reservoir Engineering) and contained 48 chapters. The 1987 edition updated the original chapters and added 11 new ones, since only one volume had been kept. That resulted in a ponderous “brick”, with 8.8 pounds in weight. I had to remind the time I carried it to campus every day. The new added 11 chapters included the advancements of the petroleum technologies, such as enhanced oil recovery, computer application, logging tools, and new production tools. The latest edition expanded to more than 100 chapters by Larry W. Lake as Editor-in-Chief. Each volume also has an editor. The related information was listed in the following table.

Oil Spill Rally?

The news about oil spill in Gulf of Mexico is still showing on TV or other media, while another explosion happened in Dalian, Liaoning, China last Friday. An explosion first hit a 0.9 meter-diameter oil pipeline around 6pm and triggered an adjacent smaller pipeline to explode near Dalian Xingang Port1, 2. Flames were basically extinguished Saturday morning, 15 hours after blasts hit two oil pipelines3. More than 2,000 men and 338 fire engines from 14 cities across the province worked through the night to extinguish the fire3. As results of a State Administration of Work Safety and Ministry of Public Security investigation showed yesterday, improper desulfurizer injections into the oil pipeline that exploded in the northeast China port city of Dalian on July 16 caused its explosion4. According to the state-run China Central Television estimation, 1500 tons (around 10000 barrels) of oil flew into the ocean5. The oil spill does harm to the fishery industry and tourism, also the wildlife terribly. Till Jul. 21st, oil had reportedly spread over an area of 430 square kilometers, prompting a dispersal mission along the coast5. More than 23 tons of oil-eating bacteria have been sent to clean up the oil spill, along with chemical agents and lengthy floating barrages5, 6. Over 1,000 fishing boats were mobilized recently to join the oil spill cleanup operation after the oil pipe explosion7. Meanwhile a lot of fishermen and volunteers also came to the shore on their own to clear up crude oil in an attempt to retrieve the beautiful beachscape of former days7. The rough conditions made the oil spill clean-up work tough. A 25-year-oil firefighter, Liang Zhang(last name), drown on Tuesday when a wave threw him from a vessel5. Since the accident is still under investigation, the oil pipeline resumed after an oil tanker berthed at the port8, 9.

1. Oil pipelines blast in Dalian port, still burning

2. Chinese president instructs on fighting oil pipeline blaze

3. Fire extinguished at NE China port 15 hours after blasts hit oil pipeline

4. Improper desulfurizer injection causes Dalian oil pipeline explosion: investigation

5. China’s worst-ever oil spill threatens wildlife as volunteers assist in clean-up

6. Oil-eating bacteria to the China oil spill rescue?

7. Fishermen and volunteers clear up oil at polluted beach in Dalian

8. Pipeline resumes operation after blast in NE China

9. First oil tanker berths at Dalian port after pipeline blast

True or False?

There is a famous saying that seeing is believing. But, after Photoshop emerged, the rule has been changed. On Jul. 19th, John Aravosis exposed a poorly doctored photo of the company’s crisis command center in Houston that had been posted to the official crisis response websiter1. Brian Barrett found out another photo which has been altered2. Shortly, BP posted a set of its doctored images on Flicker to try to win back credibility after admitting staff used Photoshop to alter photographs of command center3, 4. On the Flicker page, three doctored pictures and their originals have been posted. A contractor of BP was responsible for this fault according to BP’s explanation. Before BP took those measures, Carl Franzen, a web journalist, also gave the possible reasons why bp would photoshop its crisis command center5.

1. BP photoshops fake photo of crisis command center, posts on main BP site.

2. BP photoshops another official image terribly.

3. BP Altered Images.

4. BP posts originals of doctored oil spill images.

5. Why Would BP Photoshop Its Crisis Command Center?

Developments in Petroleum Sciences

Another textbook sources in petroleum engineering I want to recommend is the Elsevier’s Developments in Petroleum Sciences book series. This series provides “a comprehensive source of detailed information on all aspects of Petroleum Sciences”. The details about this series could be found at Until now, 56 volumes have been published from the year of 1975. This series continues to publish in the future as shown on that page. Because I was working on MEOR as I described before, I got to know the Chinese version of Vol 22, Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery by Drs. Erle C. Donaldson, George V. Chilingarian, and Teh Fu Yen. Later, I got Volume 39, Microbial Enhancement of Oil Recovery-Recent Advances, Proceedings of the 1992 International Conference on Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery by Drs. Eugene T. Premuzic and Avril Woodhead. These two books offered me the brief idea of MEOR and fundamental information of that technology. Years later, because of research project, I made use of Volume 8, Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering by Dr. L.P. Dake. The titles and authors of each volume have been listed in the following table. Some of them are out of print. Maybe you can find the one you need in local library.