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Daqing Oilfield Going on a Green Growth Road

      With Songnen Plain becoming golden and yellow in October, flocks and herds move on the grass like white clouds, and the pumping units that are covered in the thick grass show up from time to time. This is the world-famous Daqing Oilfield.

      Before the interview, the reporter used to think of such a scene: with the vast salt marsh, flying sands, roaring snow, high rig, and busy drilling machines, the oil workers that are covered with greasy dirt are fighting at the endless wilderness. Nevertheless, when stepping on the land and walking on the road of Daqing Oilfield, the journalists never see that kind of scene and what the reporter see are blue sky, white cloud, grassland….

      From the a salt marsh in the past to a picturesque city at present, Daqing Oilfield not only promises to make a contribution to the national oil, but also tries its best to save energy and reduce pollutantdischarge, through which the harmonious situation between human being and the nature is created. The oilfield of a century is fully releasing its green glamor.

      From “making a contribution to the country by producing crude oil” to “making a contribution to the country by saving energy and reducing emission”, whilst Daqing Oilfield makes an “addition” in oil exploitation yield, it also makes a “subtraction” in energy and material consumption, by which Daqing Oilfield goes on a road with the harmonious development between environment and economy.

      Daqing Oilfield is genuinely a “huge machine”, and the whole land of the oilfield is covered with countless Christmas trees, various kinds of station (warehouse), and other countless oilfield facilities. Pipelines with thousands of kilograms in total are interlaced under the ground. These equipments not only contribute energy, but also consume energy, as a great deal of electric energy, natural gas and water are consumed during the production. 

      Wang Yupu, the General Manager of Daqing Oilfield\ Co., Ltd as well as the Director General of Daqing Petroleum AdministrationBureau, tells the journalists, “When we examine ourselves at the altitude of Scientific Outlook on Development, we suddenly find that there are many problems existing in Daqing Oilfield. For example, the enterprise shall do what to deal with “present and future”, “output and efficiency”, “capacity and energy conservation”, “growth and environment” and some other problems during the development, and some people still have the one-side understanding of “paying more attention to output and efficiency, and less attention to energy conservation and emission reduction”.

      Under the suggestion of Wang Yupu, a discussion about “contribution view” is developed in the oilfield. The staffs of the oilfield start balancing the benefits. The waste of crude oil of Daqing Oilfield occupies about 1.2% of the total output of crude oil, and the waste rate can be reduced to 1.0% if the dehydrated oil tube patrol is further strengthened and environmental protection measures are taken to reduce the failed oil, through which 0.5 million tons of standard coal can be reduced during “the 11th Five-Year Plan”; moreover, there is about 0.1 billion cubic meters vent gas in the oilfield, and if half of them is used for generating electricity, the electricity consumption in the oilfield can be reduced by 0.125 billion kilowatt-hours, which equals to 50,000 tons of standard coal.

      The balancing of benefits makes everyone understand that energy conservation and emission reduction can bring such a great benefit. The leading group of the oilfield brings forward a new management idea: while producing crude oil for the country was a contribution in the past, energy conservation and emission reduction is also a contribution now, and now “high and stable yield” shall be changed into “clean, economical and sustainable development”.

      Therefore, whilst the oilfield completes the “addition” in creating great wealth, it also completes the “subtraction” in daily life. Each oil extraction enterprise highlights the features, and they have measures to develop clean development and energy conservation and emission reduction.

      The 6th Plant of Oil Extraction invents the special operation mode of “cubic energy conservation”: reservoir engineering emphasizes on the control of circulation of ineffective injection production and reduces energy consumption from the development source; flooring work emphasizes on the layout optimization and design simplification and controls the scale to reduce the energy consumption in operation; oil production engineering emphasizes on the optimization of lifting method, lifting parameter and lifting device and improves the efficiency of mechanical exploitation and reduces energy consumption; production management emphasizes on implementing gathering and transportation without heating in winter and changes the way of gathering and transportation to reduce the consumption of natural gas.

      In the working site of the 2nd Company of Well Drilling, the well drilling team is provided with two diesel generators with different sizes. The big one is used for well drilling, and the small one is used for daily illumination and cooking. The big one and the small one are used separately, which is very inconvenient for transportation, but saves resources indeed.

      The oilfield also advocates the new pumping equipment, and the screw pumping equipment is substituted for the traditional pumping machine. Compared with the traditional pumping machine whose motor power is at least 55 kilowatt, the maximum motor power of a screw pump is just 30 kilowatt. Under the same production efficiency, a single well can save more than 20,000 KWH every year. Currently, this kind of screw pump has been applied to over 3800 wells in Daqing Oilfield.

      The energy conservation has realized a considerable efficiency, and emission reduction also brings a great achievement. According to the statistics, when the idea “to use 1 kilowatt hour electricity less, to burn 1 cubic gas less, and to drop 1 drop of oil less” is spread to more than 0.1 million posts and 60 thousand wells all over the oilfield, more than 0.2 million tons of standard coal will be saved every year, and the proportion that the energy cost occupies in the whole oil gas operation cost decreases from 42% to 36%, which is equivalent to major oil companies.

      From mining for oil at all costs in the past to minimizing the economic cost and environmental cost to getting more oil, Daqing Oilfield has realized the transition of development method from the traditional “resource ---- production ---- pollution” to the new-type “resource---- production ---- renewable resource”.

      In the latter half of 19th century, abundant oil is discovered in the desert on the cost of Caspian Sea, and the coming wealth makes Baku become a famous city on the west cost of Caspian Sea in Russia. However, the transient prosperity only lasts for less than half a century, and the crazy exploitation makes the recoverable reserve in Baku oil region decline rapidly. With the dramatic decrease in oil production, the prosperity of Baku becomes to decay.

      As a resource-based enterprise, the reserve and production ratio of Daqing Oilfield has been unbalanced seriously through decades of high-speed and high-efficiency exploitation, and the reserved resources become in short. The comprehensive water content in the oilfield exceeds 90%. In order to make Daqing Oilfield totally get away from the tragedy of “the second Baku”, the staffs of Daqing Oil actively study and practice Scientific Outlook on Development; develop the circular economy; create a green oilfield and environmental oilfield; and realize the synchronous development of economic benefit, social benefit and ecological benefit.

      In the past, the high water consumption and pollution is a great problem for oilfield exploitation. A great deal of sewage will be produced in the oil exploitation; moreover, after the oil is extracted from the underground, a lot of clean water will also need to be re-injected into the ground to maintain the formation pressure, which causes that the injection of one side is often stopped due to the lack of water in Daqing water reservoir, and that the sewage exploited from the other side cannot be handled. Wang Baojiang, from the 6th Plant of Oil Exploitation, is nominated at a critical moment and brings forward the idea that the waste water is substituted for clean water to formulate the polymer flooding. Through experiments for many times, after he invents “the method of jet flow and exposure to oxygen” to sterilize and disinfect the waste water, the polymer absorbs the processed sewage and then discharges it. After the application of the technology, the oilfield applies 54 million tons of sewage every year, which saves 0.22 billion Yuan water cleaning expenses and 0.176 billion Yuan pollution discharge expenses.Daqing Oilfield deserves to become the largest demonstration area of sewage processing in the world.

      On November 16, 2009, Changyuan Biochemical Processing Station of Oily Sewage with 0.171 billion Yuan investment went into operation in the 1st Plant of Oil Exploitation. Till now, Daqing Oilfield has constructed 154 oily sewage processing station and has realized 0.4 billion cubic meters processing capacity every year. These processing stations gather the oily sewage and then inject the water after cleaned back into the underground. The total quantity of injection and gathering equals that 8 West Lakes in Hangzhou have been saved.

       “Low-temperature oil gathering technology” is also representative. The technology reduces the lowest oil gathering temperature of the oil well to 5oC to 10oC below the freezing point of crude oil, through which the loss caused by heating is reduced; over 1000 sets of seasonal water pump and heating furnace are realized in the oilfield; 30 thousand low-temperature gathering and transportation wells are implemented, which occupies 2/3 of the total number of the oil wells; 0.166 billion KWH electricity and 0.149 billion cubic meters gas are saved, and the discharge of 59.3 tons carbon dioxide is reduced.

      From taking resources from the nature to protecting and rewarding the nature, Daqing Oilfield raise the ecological protection to the altitude of development strategy, and ecological civilization becomes a new value.

      At the beginning of the development of Daqing Oilfield, people were immersed in the pleasure of finding such a big oilfield, and they didn’t fully recognize the negative effects brought by the oil exploitation and had no deep understanding to environmental protection. The flowing crude oil was often sprayed to the ground directly, which made the grassland around Daqing Oilfield degenerate rapidly, and the plants in many regions became nothing left during several years.

      Gong Ke, a writer in Daqing, recalls that the feet were always covered with jet-black and sticky oil when he walked on the street in Daqing Oilfield with unawareness in 1970s. In the evening, in the place where there were many people, the black smoke produced by burning the crude oil to cook by the citizens covered the sky, which dyed the sparrows in the sky into black and covered the vast water surface with oil.

      1205 Drilling Crew of the 2nd Company of Well Drilling takes the lead to promote the idea of “green well drilling”. They lay the seepage-proofing cloth under the drilling fluid, pool and equipment during the work and promise “no oil dirt and mud on the ground”. The journalists come to the heroic drilling crew and overlook the endless grassland at the tall drilling tower. The bottom of mud tank and oil tank in the work area is covered with colorful cloth. The most outstanding one in the site is blue seepage-proofing cloth which looks like a huge piece of blanket and packs the well field tightly. The waste material and waste liquid are gathered to process. The publicity board in the work area writes, “To save less dust and more cleanness, to protect the environment, and to share the green water and blue sky.” Captain HuZhiqiang says modestly that all the work teams in Daqing Oilfield are doing the same thing.

      There used to be a saying in the past, “Oil workers are so hard that they eat much earth every day both in daytime and at night.” However, the working environment of the staffs of the oilfield changes a lot today.

      In the construction site of 703 Work Team of the 1st Plant of Oil Exploitation, the workers who used to be covered with oil dirt and worked in the dirty oil and water have disappeared, and what remained are tall derricks and roaring machines. After the workers scrape paraffin for the pipeline, they will transport them back to the underground, and they will become clean.

      In the 1st and 2nd Multi-purpose Station of North 2nd Mine of 1st Plant of Oil Exploitation, in the transparent control room,the staffs with uniform dressing are staring at the screen of various monitors and the data in the precision electronic instrument. Whenever any oil well or water well has something wrong, the operator on duty will notice the relevant technical staff to deal with that immediately. There are only seven or eight operators on duty in such a multi-purpose station, and the refinement of

production and management reduces cost.

      Daqing is called “A City of Hundreds of Lakes”, and many residents have a habit that they walk along the lakes in the morning. The blue sky and green water interact with each other, and the flowers and birds and the green land are a integration of quietness and motion. However, this was quite unimaginable several years ago. Dawn Lake, Wanbao Lake, Heiyu Lake, Longfeng Wetland, Dangnai Wetland and various other lakes and wetlands in today’s Daqing, 32 green ecological gardens that integrate ecology, leisure and entertainment, and the recreation squares spread all over have become a green ecological scenery in the oil city.

      What makes the staffs of the oilfield feel most proud is the “Green Corridor”. It stretches from Xingnan Oilfield in the south, to the Oilfield Ecological Garden in the middle and to Lamadian Oilfield in the north. This place is both the main oilfield of Daqing and the living area of the staffs. Within the planning region with 966 km2 total area, vegetation recovery and ecological protection are carried out in different periods and batches according to “Three Points”, “Six Lines” and “Nine Planes”. During the construction of “Green Corridor”, Wang Yupu and some other leaders of the oilfield company took part in the tree planting as ordinary staffs. With the decoration by the staffs of Daqing Oilfield in the new age, the wilderness will become the beautiful sceneries in the oil city, and Daqing Oilfield, surrounded by “Green Corridor”, will become more and more beautiful.

      Wang Yupu says firmly, “We produce 40 million tons stably, which both requires great contribution and good efficiency, both lower input and larger output, both low consumption and low discharge, and both enterprise benefits and social benefits. We never achieve the economic growth at the cost of environment, nor hurt the benefits of the later generations for the good of temporary development.”

      Daqing Oilfield, covered in the green andtaking ecological civilization as the value, is attracting the world with a brand-new image. (Source: Li Qingsheng and Wu Dianfeng from China Environment News) 

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