Uppsala Research Makes a Breakthrough in China / “Uppsalaforskning får genomslag i Kina”

Posted on September 12, 2008

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”Uppsala research makes a breakthrough in China”, says the headline of the article in the “Uppsala New Magazine” [Uppsala’s local newspaper] that describes our activities in China. (The internet version has identical text with the headline “His Mission is to Estimate Natural Gas Production”).

If one opens the internet version of the article one can also listen to a computer-generated voice reading it. I understand that it is difficult for the computer to pronounce my name correctly, but the second last time it actually succeeds. Despite many pronunciation mistakes I am impressed by the technology. The next step is a verbal translation to different languages.

It is always interesting to read a journalist’s report of an interview. Despite that one tries to be as clear as possible there is often some little mistake. In today’s article it says that I was in China to sign an agreement with the Chinese University of Petroleum. That agreement was signed in November of last year and ratified by the two Universities’ rectors in January. Now we were in China to begin the research that we had agreed on. An important part is to estimate Chinas future natural gas production, i.e. as stated by the internet version’s headline.

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”Uppsala research makes a breakthrough in China”

(Translation of the article)

Professor Kjell Aleklett, (known for his research on the world’s declining oil resources) and his researchers at Uppsala University have been given a challenging task – they will estimate China’s future need for oil and gas.

“What our own future will be here in the West depends very much on what happens in China”, says Kjell Aleklett.

“Today China uses much less energy per capita than Europe and the rest of the Western world does. But if many of those Chinese that currently live in rural areas (which is the great majority) move to the cities then China’s energy needs will greatly increase.

Already China imports half of the oil it uses and those imports will need to increase if energy consumption rises since China already extracts as much oil as it can from its own reserves. But more oil barrels to China means fewer to the rest of the world”, states Kjell Aleklett.

Aleklett and his research group promote the idea of “Peak Oil” i.e. that the extraction of oil worldwide will reach a maximum in the year 2010 and can then only decline since the existing oil reserves are waning and too few new fields are being opened up relative to the growing demand. His research on calculation models for energy needs and availability has been given great attention around the world and now China has responded to his warning words on future access to oil. China’s Sinopec, the world’s third largest refinery company, recently summoned the Uppsala professor for a conversation.

“”If your calculations are correct then we are making mistaken investments costing billions of dollars” said one of the company’s leaders to me during our meeting. Now they want to support our research with one of their Ph.D. students here in Uppsala”, said Kjell Aleklett, who was actually in China to sign an agreement with the Chinese University of Petroleum when Sinopec called. (See comment in blog)

“It is a clear signal that industry is taking our research results seriously”, says Kjell Akeklett, who earlier started a collaboration with Volvo and Technova, a company in the Toyota famaly.
Together with the Chinese university, Kjell Aleklett’s group will map out China’s future requirements for oil and gas.

“They have started research that resembles ours and through collaboration we will get access to data on China that we never would have otherwise, says Kjell Aleklett.

NIKLAS SKERI
(Translation by ML)

(Swedish)

”Uppsalaforskning får genomslag i Kina”, så lyder rubriken på den artikel som i dagens Uppsala Nya Tidning beskriver vår verksamhet i Kina. Nätupplagan av artikeln har identiskt innehåll, men rubriken ”Naturgasproduktion hans räkneuppgift”.

Om man öppnar nätupplagan av artikeln kan man också lyssna till en datagenererad uppläsning. Jag förstår att det är svårt för datorn att uttala mitt namn korrekt, men näst sista gången lyckas den faktiskt med det. Trots några uttalsfel är jag imponerad av tekniken. Nästa steg är en verbal översättning till olika språk.

Det är alltid intressant att läsa journalistens reportage av en intervju och fastän man försöker vara så tydlig som det går finns det ofta något litet fel. I dagens artikel står det att jag var i Kina för att underteckna ett avtal med China University of Petroleum. Det avtalet undertecknades i november förra året och fastställdes av respektive universitets rektorer i januari. Nu var vi i Kina för att påbörja den forskning som vi enats om. En viktig del är att beräkna Kinas framtida naturgasproduktion, det vill säga nätupplagans rubrik.

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