5 oil company employees hurt as Molotov cocktails hurled in violent clash

By Yin Han Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/3 23:18:39

A pitched battle involving Molotov cocktails, shovels, picks and at least five injured people has prompted Shaanxi provincial police to step in and investigate an escalating dispute between two feuding State-owned oil companies, media reported on Monday.

The latest standoff began Friday and lasted until Saturday as the cocktails were hurled and five people were hurt, the Chongqing Morning Post reported on Monday.

The ugly battle was the third this year between two companies disputing the mining, gas and petroleum in Suide county of the Northwest China province, the report said.

An employee at the news center of one of the companies, PetroChina Changqing Oilfield Company (PCOC), a subsidiary of China's biggest oil and gas producer PetroChina, told the Global Times on Monday that the conflict over mining rights is a long-standing one.

The employee, who refused to give his full name, noted the other company - Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (Group) Company (Yanchang Petroleum), owned by the Shaanxi provincial government - has attempted "to gain ground from Changqing in order to scale up."

About 100 employees from both State-owned enterprises (SOEs) were seen in a video wielding shovels and sticks in Suide county, Shaanxi, the Chongqing-based newspaper reported.

Suide police confirmed with the incident saying an investigation was underway but refused to release any further information when reached by the Global Times.

Suide police reportedly took in five employees from PCOC for questioning, with Shaanxi police joining in the investigation.

The field where the violent mass showdown took place is located in the Zizhou gas field, which has been producing 1.3 billion cubic meters of gas a year for six consecutive years. 

Yanchang Petroleum reportedly obtained its permit from the local government to exploit the field, a report which the anonymous PCOC employee denied.

"PCOC registered for mining rights," he said.

The issue of mining versus petroleum rights is complex and "cannot be explained easily," the employee said.

The two companies jointly funded an oil and gas company in the region in 2012, but that did not end their disagreements.

Employees of the two companies conflicted at the same location in January, an incident which reportedly ended with a bone fracture for one PCOC employee.

In May, 17 PCOC employees were accosted by police for allegedly disrupting social and production order, investment website xueqin.com reported in May.

Newspaper headline: Staff of SOEs scuffle over mining rights

Posted in: SOCIETY

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