CHANGCHUN, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- At 45 years of age, Ma Tianchi, an oil worker responsible for overseeing oil wells, has a job that goes beyond traditional oil extraction -- maintaining over 500 photovoltaic panels that generate electricity.
Ma works at Jilin Oilfield, a subsidiary of PetroChina, located in northeast China's Jilin Province. In August, the oilfield marked a significant milestone as it officially churned out China's first barrel of zero-carbon crude oil.
Zero-carbon crude oil refers to the use of entirely clean energy sources for all aspects of crude oil production, resulting in zero carbon emissions during the process.
Jilin Oilfield, with over 60 years of oil extraction history, struggled due to fluctuations in international oil prices and resource limitations, resulting in losses in 2015. However, in recent years, this oilfield has turned the tide, embracing green technology that taps into renewable resources, such as wind, solar, and geothermal energy, to drive its operations.
The solar panels maintained by Ma are an integral part of this green shift. The photovoltaic panels collectively generate approximately 1,900 kWh of electricity per day. This clean energy production meets the daytime power needs of 72 oil wells.
In March this year, the field connected a 150,000 kW wind and solar power project to the grid, generating 360 million kWh of electricity annually, equivalent to one-quarter of the company's annual consumption. This initiative saved 110,900 tonnes of coal and reduced carbon emissions by 282,000 tonnes.
The power generated by cleaner energy is cheaper than traditional grid electricity, helping to cut costs, said Jia Xuefeng, head of the new energy department at Jilin Oilfield, adding that the carbon emission reduction achieved can be traded as quota in the international carbon market, which can also secure nearly 100 million yuan (about 13.7 million U.S. dollars) of revenue annually for the oilfield.
In addition, the oilfield offsets carbon emissions from fossil fuel consumption through carbon capture, utilization, and storage technology, achieving carbon neutrality.
As of Sept. 1, the oilfield had injected over 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the ground, equivalent to the amount offset by planting 27 million trees.
"Building on the experience of zero-carbon crude oil, more low-carbon, zero-carbon, and even negative-carbon oilfields are expected to emerge, supporting China in achieving its carbon reduction goals," said Zhang Chengming, deputy head of an oil extraction factory at Jilin Oilfield.