TAN KAH KEE Science Award

Tan Kah Kee Award in Earth Sciences

Petroleum geologist, was born in Shanghai on October 17,1922. He graduated from Department of Geology, National Central University in 1945. He worked as a petroleum geologist for the Yumen, Taiwan, Yanchang, Daqing, Sichuan, Shengli, Dagang, and Renqiu oil/gas fields from 1945~1977. He is the professor and chief geologist of Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development, PetroChina in Beijing since 1978. He has been a Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) since 1991, and was a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) since 2001.

His research areas: Petroleum Geology,  has been focus on study of basin wide exploration, development and petroleum geological theory of the Chinese petroliferous basins; on the study of tectonic types of oil and gas basins in China, the lacustrine origin source beds, the stratigraphic correlation and fracture reservoir characterization, on the theory of composite magastructural oil and gas belts in blocked-faulting traps and buried-hill traps. Prof. Li Desheng has published more than 140 papers in Chinese and foreign geoscience journals, 9 volumes of petroleum geology books (2 of these are in English).

Tectonics of Chinese Petroliferous Basins


Li Desheng has made great achievements on oil and gas basins structural geology of China. He identified that the hydrocarbon bearing basins in China consist of three basic types. (1) Eastern China Tension Basins, (2) Central China transition basins, (3) Western China Compression Basins. In the research of Bohai Gulf Oil and Gas Basin, Prof. Li build the "Bohai mantle rise" concept, and use this concept to comprehensively discuss the sedimentary history and tectonic framework and distribution pattern of oil and gas field in this basin. He applied plate tectonic theory to analyses the property of Marine and Continental facies polycyclic superimposed petroliferous basins, and explained the characteristic of palaeogeotectonic, palaeogeography and multi-petroleum system types. Li Desheng's academic works were founded on massive first-hand data, which came from oil and gas fields practices and formed theories. His academic results have successfully guided the new venture petroleum exploration and production in China.

Links: The Nobel Prize  |  The Shaw Prize  |  The Holeung Ho Lee Prize  |  The Wolf Prize  |  The Crafoord Prize  |  The Able Prize
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