Sinochem Group: Contribution to “the Belt and Road” Landscape

Source:China Chemical Industry News     Author:Zhu Xiaoyan     Date:2019-12-11     

Sinochem Group owned 100% offshore blocks of UAQ and RAK and served as the operator in 2003, since when Atlantis Holding Norway AS has been headquartered in the UAE. In the past 16 years, Sinochem staff have been contributing to “the Belt and Road” landscape with the mission of safeguarding national energy security and the task of developing Sinochem’s upstream energy business.

Excellent Party member Li Benli

Atlantis General Manager Mr. Li Benli has stayed in Dubai for 16 years and boasts a good command of Arabic. Bearing the mission bestowed by the Party Group and Party Committee of Sinochem Group, he has committed to the launch, construction, and production management of UAQ oil fields. Mr. Li Benli has skillfully managed the project with arduous tasks in a complex political environment amid over-the-top business challenges.

At the end of 2004, the UAQ government demanded a termination of the cooperation with Atlantis in offshore gas fields, and Mr. Li Benli was selected as the principal representative to negotiate for more than a year. “It was urgent and we were on the verge of lose. Once the negotiation fails, the first project of Sinochem Group as an upstream energy operator would be suspended.” Thanks to his proficiency in Arabic and knowledge of local culture, he contributed much to the government’s approval and signature of the project. In March 2006, Atlantis officially signed a sales agreement with the UAQ government. The cooperation continued.

In the early production stage of UAQ oil fields, the platform equipment was unstable, leading to frequent emergency sailing, which required a lot of materials for agents to review and the customs clearance took up to 72 hours, seriously affecting the normal progress of the project. Upon knowing that, Mr. Li Benli quickly obtained the qualification for handling sailing procedures to ensure smooth sailing operations. “We expect fast customs clearance for sailing operations, but the approval of the government and agents is difficult to manage. We are often thus blocked.”

A colleague having worked with Mr. Li Benli for over 10 years praised him highly, “Mr. Li Benli fundamentally managed the approval of agents, which was undoubtedly a waste of time, and directly contacted the UAQ government, the customs port, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs, the Roads and Transport Authority, and coast guards of Sharjah and UAQ for collaboration and negotiation.”

Sinochem craftsman Gan Baisong

Owing to his superb professionalism, the 2016-2017 Sinochem Craftsman Mr. Gan Baisong, Assistant to General Manager of Atlantis, has built the UAQ offshore operation platform, a first-ever unmanned platform operated by remote satellite at abroad by a Chinese oil company. He serves at the front line to ensure production. Upholding the Sinochem spirit of meticulous craftsmanship and the pursuit of excellence, he has shown his passion for offshore oil and gas exploration and development.

The Atlantis UAQ project required inspection and removal of ponding water from the pipeline before it could be commissioned. In practice, however, the liquid nitrogen for commissioning had used up and the gas buyer had not yet received any “pigtek” (a kind of pipeline clearing device). If following the commissioning procedures, the commissioning period will be postponed for more than four days and the cost would increase significantly. Based on his years of technical experience and in-depth analysis, Mr. Gan Baisong found it possible for “pigtek” operations with natural gas by well opening. Upon approval, he immediately fine-tuned the production plan and strengthened safety control. After a series of preparations and work, on May 2, 2008, the UAQ platform completed the “pigtek” operations with natural gas and the one-time production succeeded. As the subsequent practice tells, if insisting on using liquid nitrogen instead of natural gas, unless liquid nitrogen and gas injection pipelines are increased significantly, even if we succeed the first time, later “pigtek” operation may still fail. Mr. Gan Baisong provided an important guarantee for the smooth production of the UAQ platform on schedule with his professional experience.

UAE is very hot in summer, with the offline platform temperature often exceeding 50°C and natural gas over 100°C flowing at a high rate in the wellhead pipeline. Each maintenance process is a test of willpower. To not compromise his working efficiency, Mr. Gan Baisong, with serious seasickness, has to leave Dubai at 6 a.m. each time and takes a supply ship to the platform on an empty stomach. After a long voyage, when he arrived at the platform at 10:00, he could hastily take a few bites of bread, and then immediately plunged into the busy work of the day. “Pigtek” operations are one of the most difficult works on the offline platform, requiring four workers to quickly turn a 14-inch valve. The operation lasting for just 30 seconds can make a strong man pant and sweat profusely. Mr. Gan Baisong often participates in such work. His specialization and dedication have been unanimously recognized by the foreign staff, making him the prestigious mainstay in the Persian Gulf.

The UAQ project is the first offshore gas field project independently developed and built overseas by a Chinese oil company. Mr. Li Benli, Mr. Gan Baisong, as well as countless staff of central enterprises like them in response to the call of the Party and the State have been bridging international friendship and establishing a model image of central enterprises with their unique tenacity and perseverance for years. They have been committed to contributing to “the Belt and Road” landscape!

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