Daqing, a city in the northeast Chinese province of Heilongjiang, contains China’s largest oil field, and its economy depends largely on petroleum and related industries. Appropriately, for the 2009 renovation of the Daqing Oil Museum, the city wished to reaffirm the importance of this natural resource to both local residents and visitors to the area.
At 12,400 square-metres, the Museum is the largest industrial science and technology museum in China by floor area. Visitors walking through the main entrance are greeted by an impressive 16-metre stainless steel globe suspended from the ceiling 20 metres above. As they walk deeper into the building, they pass black-and-white images of key figures in China’s petroleum industry from decades past.
Inside, the exhibition spaces are divided into three basic sections, devoted respectively to demonstrating how petroleum is produced, the history and achievements of Daqing, and the relationship between Daqing and the oil industry.
A focal point of the first section is a large sand table model of an oil field, complete with a simulation of oil drilling. Another replica of an underground oil deposit demonstrates how it is pumped up to the surface. To explain how petroleum was formed millions of years ago, a diorama of a life-size dinosaur in its prehistoric environment establishes a sense of time and place.
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