Credit: Baker Institute for Public Policy

Making high-quality satellite imagery available to the broader global energy research community can help crack open China’s “Great Wall of Secrecy” and improve data transparency and insights into the inner workings of the world’s second-largest crude oil market.

A new study — Using Satellite Data to Crack the Great Wall of Secrecy Around China’s Internal Oil Flows – has been issued by Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

Data gathering sensors

Even if data gatherers on the ground in China can be constrained by the risk of severe physical penalties, Chinese officials can do little to prevent remote sensors in space from gathering data on energy sector activities.

They suggest that better data transparency would benefit oil producers and consumers both within and outside of China.

Satellite imagery of oil activity in China.
Credit: Baker Institute for Public Policy/DigitalGlobe, Google Earth

Time-lapse imagery

“Satellites passing repeatedly over the same area can provide a time-lapse image series that can help identify the construction of roads and pipelines, well completions, drilling rig movement, and other important energy-related activities,” the authors explain.

The new study was written by Gabriel Collins, J.D., Baker Botts Fellow in Energy & Environmental Regulatory Affairs, Center for Energy Studies and Shih Yu (Elsie) Hung, Research Associate, Center for Energy Studies.

To view a copy of the document — Using Satellite Data to Crack the Great Wall of Secrecy Around China’s Internal Oil Flows — go to:

https://www.bakerinstitute.org/media/files/files/5b820dd5/bi-report-090718-ces-satellitechinaoil.pdf

Leave a Reply

Griffith Observatory Event