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Daqing develops new oilfield technologies

Updated: 2009-09-21 08:50
By Wan Zhihong (China Daily)

 Daqing develops new oilfield technologies

Daqing oilfield Daqing is paying more attention to overseas expansion for more sustainable development.

Daqing develops new oilfield technologies

Kang Juanjuan was born after 1980 in Daqing, the 50-year-old oilfield in northeastern China. She and her father are now working in the same plant at the oilfield.

"My father is a good teacher. With his help, I have made big progress in my work," Kang said.

Like Kang, many young workers born after the 1980s are now working with their parents in Daqing, China's largest oilfield. They are the third-generation workers at the oilfield.

Kang Gaoyi, father of Kang Juanjuan, has worked in Daqing for over 30 years. "My biggest wealth is my working experience. I am glad to share it with my young colleagues," he said.

Workers from different parts of China came to Daqing after the oilfield was discovered in Heilongjiang province in September 1959. They are the first-generation workers of Daqing and are famous for their hard work.

Today's workers are required to have more technology and management skills than previous generations, said Wang Yongchun, general manager of PetroChina Daqing Oilfield Co, a subsidiary of China's largest oil and gas producer, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

Hou Zhaowei, another young worker, began working at Daqing in 1999 after earning a degree in biology. Today, one important part of his work is to develop different bacteria for the oilfield.

"We will use the bacteria to enhance oil production in Daqing," Hou said.

New technique

The technique, which is called Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR), puts microbes down oil wells. The microorganism will then break down the long carbon chains of high-density crude oil, making it easier for the oil to rise to the surface.

Currently, most conventional oil recovery processes are only able to retrieve approximately 50 percent of the available oil in the area. The utilization of MEOR can extend the life of oil wells without additional costs.

"The technique features easy application and low costs. What's more, it will cause no damage to the oil reservoir and no pollution to the environment," Hou said.

MEOR is among many advanced techniques used at Daqing to improve oil recovery rates. PetroChina Daqing Oilfield Co is the owner and operator of the oilfield.

Daqing oilfield has produced two billion tons of oil since its discovery. This equals 40 percent of the total oil China has produced in the past five decades, said Wang.

The company has paid 1.7 trillion yuan in taxes in the past 50 years. This amount equals China's entire revenues in 2002, he said.

Annual oil output of Daqing has been maintained at above 50 million tons for 27 consecutive years. The highest output was in 1997 with 56 million tons.

Last year, Daqing produced 40.2 million tons of oil, about one-fourth of China's total oil output annually.

"We will try our utmost to keep producing 40 million tons per year for a long time in the future," Wang said.

"Improvements in technology will play a vital role in achieving this target," he added.

Oil extraction in Daqing has now experienced three stages of oil recovery, said Wu Xiaolin, deputy chief engineer at the Exploration and Development Research Institute operated by PetroChina Daqing Oilfield Co.

Wu explained that during the primary recovery stage, underground pressure in the oil reservoir was sufficient to force the oil to the surface.

Water flooding (injection of water into wells to force the oil to the surface) was a secondary recovery technique widely used at Daqing in the 1970s.

Polymer flooding (injection of polymer into wells to improve recovery) is a tertiary recovery technique that now is widely used at Daqing.

"Nowadays, 10 million tons of oil are produced by using polymer flooding each year, accounting for around 25 percent of Daqing's total output," Wu said.

MEOR is the fourth recovery technique, and the feasibility study for this technology is proceeding smoothly, he said.

Overseas development

Daqing is now paying more attention to overseas expansion for more sustainable development, company executives said.

Sun Yingbo is the general manager of Daqing Oilfield Construction Group, a subsidiary of PetroChina Daqing Oilfield Co.

He said the objective of his company is to achieve revenues of 2.5 billion yuan to 3 billion yuan from the overseas market in 2010.

The company last year reported revenues of 660 million yuan from its overseas markets, accounting for 7 percent of its total turnover, Sun said.

Sun said the company is involved in the construction of many energy projects overseas, including oil and gas fields, oil and gas pipelines, and power stations.

"Today we have formed four strategic overseas markets: Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and America," he said.

Sun said overseas projects will be a growth engine for his company in the future. Participation in overseas projects also has helped the company become more accustomed to international standards.

Two projects this year will greatly boost the company's overseas business. They are the Sino-Russia oil pipeline and CNPC's successful bid for the Rumaila oil field in Iraq, he said.

China and Russia signed cooperation deals on the construction of a cross-border oil pipeline this February to send Russian oil supplies to China.

"We are responsible for the construction of the pipeline from Mohe to Daqing in Heilongjiang province. This has become our major project this year," Sun said.

In June, CNPC, together with the United Kingdom's British Petroleum (BP), made a successful bid for the Rumaila oilfield in Iraq.

The move has offered the company unprecedented opportunities to enter the Middle East, Sun said.

 Daqing develops new oilfield technologies

PetroChina Daqing Oilfield Co is adopting new technologies to increase efficiency. CFP

(China Daily 09/21/2009 page12)

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