Lu Bang-gan was honored with Special Commendation for his leadership of exploration geophysics in China. As chief geophysicist of the China National Petroleum Corporation, he managed the conversion of the Chinese seismic industry from analog to digital technology and established professional commercial ties between CNPC and non-Chinese geophysical service companies. These achievements have been major milestones in the development of exploration geophysics in China.
Biography Citation for the SEG Special Commendation
Contributed by Qian Shaoxin
Lu Bang-gan received his bachelor’s in physics from Jiao Tong University in Shanghai in 1950 and then began his career in petroleum geophysics. His 50 years in this industry have been characterized by energy and intelligence.
Lu was a pioneer in seismic exploration in China. The first seismic crew in China was started in 1951. Lu was the operator and then the interpreter of this crew. In 1952, when the second seismic crew was formed, Lu was named crew chief.
Those first seismic crews were placed near old oil fields such as Yumen and Yanchang in West China. Conditions were very difficult—ground surfaces were covered with thick conglomerate or dry loess. In spite of much effort and experimentation, no reflections were obtained by shooting dynamite in shot holes. However, in 1953, Lu conducted an air-shooting test over a thick conglomerate-covered region in Yuden and got good reflection data. It was a breakthrough for the seismic method in that area. This was the standard technique for many years until ultimately being replaced by vibroseis.
After the discovery of the giant Daqing Field in Sonliao Basin in 1959, an extensive reflection survey was performed over the basin by 26 seismic crews. All data were edited and interpreted at the newly established Sonliao Interpretation Center (SIC) under Lu’s direction. In 1962, SIC completed the interpretation and compiled seismic contour maps of six marker horizons over Sonliao Basin. For the first time, we got regional seismic maps over an area of about 100 000 km2.
Based on these maps, many new oil fields were discovered in Songliao Basin. In 1963, Lu began to work at the exploration department of the Ministry of Petroleum Industry (MOPI) in Beijing. In 1978 he was promoted to chief geophysicist of the exploration department, a position he retained until his retirement in 1997.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Lu and colleagues oversaw two technological revolutions at MOPI. The first was shifting from paper recording to an analog magnetic recording; this was completed in 1973. The second was the conversion from analog to digital recording, which was completed in 1987.
By the end of 1987, about 260 seismic crews of MOPI were equipped with digital recorders and every large oil field had a digital processing center. As a technical leader in petroleum geophysics, Lu stressed the introduction and popularization of new techniques. He did a lot of work to poexploration and exploitation. Due to his influence and organization, most seismic work in the petroleum industry switched from 2-D to 3-D in the 1980s.
Since 1980, Lu has written a series of technical papers on such subjects as 3-D seismic, VSP, seismic stratigraphy, reservoir prediction, and reservoir monitoring. His papers have had a notable impact on the application of these new techniques in China. Lu was chief editor of Atlas of Typical Seismic Profiles in China, which was published in both Chinese and English and won the state excellent book award in 1992. Lu’s contribution to petroleum geophysics continues after his retirement. Recently he helped edit Major Events of Petroleum Geophysical Exploration in China which describes the achievements of Chinese petroleum geophysics in the 20th century. Several oil fields and universities regularly ask him to consult.
Lu Bang-gan is a man of honesty and modesty; all his friends congratulate him upon his selection for this award.