Villagers Inflate Plastic Bags with Natural Gas to Carry Home

A Chinese villager carrying home a long plastic bag inflated with natural gas illegally siphoned off from a nearby oil well.

From Sohu:

Shandong Binzhou villagers siphon off natural gas, carrying “bombs” home

February 20th, at an oil/gas well near the west end of Huanghe 12th street in Binzhou, Shandong Province, there were many villagers using large plastic bags to carry natural gas, a nerve-racking sight for many. The workers at the oil field stated that this indeed created many latent dangers, but their warning were to no avail.

On the morning of the 20th, when reporters first arrived, the oil extraction machinery was operating normally, a gas canister and large gas furnace were beside the machine with no people standing guard. At 10 am, a middle aged woman brought a large plastic bag to the machine. The woman skillfully opened the valve to the gas and connected it to the bag she was carrying, the plastic bag quickly rose and grew to be a 6 meter long, 1 meter wide balloon. After about 4 minutes the bag was full.

According to reports, there are more than one oil well in Binzhou; many other villages near oil/gas wells also had cases of villages self-filling gas. “Some villages directly connect the oil pipe to the village and divide it among the household. Once there was a power outage to the pipeline, uninformed villages continue to use gas to burn stoves, by the time the pipeline came back on, the rush of gas ignited the fires causing an explosion,” recalled an oil worker at Shengli Oil Field in Binzhou.

A Chinese villager carrying home a long plastic bag inflated with natural gas illegally siphoned off from a nearby oil well.

Comments on Sohu:


I’m from around there, the people there are too poor and they won’t let them connect lines from the oil field so they have to use this method to carry home gas. It takes up a lot of space at home and can only burn for 5 days, an old lady was blown off her feet by wind carrying this! Common people’s lives are so hard!


What is in there? A Massive Wave?

[Note: Julang or “massive wave” is a Chinese intercontinental-ballistic missile (ICBM)]


Can’t blame the villagers! Why not let the villagers spend a little money and directly connect the pipeline to the villages for them to use directly, wouldn’t this be better? And safer too! Without any waste!


As long as there are oil wells, the neighboring people all do this, not just at this place.


Saving money is important, but life is even more important!


The fearless revolutionary spirit.


Half way on the road someone light up a cigarette and accidentally touch the bag! Boom! The fun begins!

A Chinese villager carrying home a long plastic bag inflated with natural gas illegally siphoned off from a nearby oil well.

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Written by Joe

Joe is a documentary producer and journalist based in Shanghai

  • Cool Matt

    Going to have one hell of a BBQ

    • Boris

      Lends a whole new meaning to the term ‘Chinese takeaway’.

  • xiaoxiao

    Look really dangerous!

  • lonetrey

    i am sincerely alarmed. seriously, if it goes off…. their lives….

  • Rick in China

    There are so many ways to teach these idiots lessons. Scary lessons.

    It’s thievery, and they deserve what they get. Fucking peasants.

    • lonetrey

      They’re not entirely to blame. Poverty is poverty… And it’s easy to tell them what’s right and what’s wrong.

      But you are right, it is thievery.

      • Nyancat

        The problem lies in whether they’ll actually listen to good advice, sometimes the only way to learn is the hard way. I do hope the government or whoever handles these matters takes some action soon before someone gets blown up.

    • Boris

      Some of the nicest people I’ve met in China -nay, the world, have been ‘fucking peasants’. I hope none of them get hurt through this.

      • donscarletti

        Surely they were not fucking peasants while you encountered them? If one is to fuck a peasant, at least a one should have the decency to take her up to the manor first, rather than claiming one’s feudal right out in the field.

        • Boris

          In future I’m going to take your advice; pulling thorns out of my rosy buttocks is undignified and makes her indoors suspicious. What’s more, this Bovine Tuberculosis is a bastard to shake off. Cough.
          p.s. that’s a wonderful expression: take you up the manor.

      • Rick in China

        I agree, I’ve met some really nice peasants also. The nice ones – I never saw them sneaking around stealing shit from their neighbours or ‘unmanned’ company/government facilities, or I’d probably not think they were so great any more.

        Not all peasants deserve the moniker “fucking peasants”, but the ones who are stealing above even against warnings — they do.

  • moop


  • [email protected]

    All the jokes, abuse, racism and demeaning and irreverent comments aside, I really can’t even begin to imagine having to do things like this just to live “normally”. Pretty bloody depressing.

  • whichone

    It’s all shits and giggles over how clever it is to siphon natural gas and carry them home like birthday balloon until a family member gets blown up.

  • Brett Hunan

    Does anyone know if China scents its gas like other countries? Like if there is a big leak in the bag, would anyone know?

    • Alan

      I recall the story as to why Chinese like to leave windows open so much is because a gas water heater broke down and a guy was killed in his sleep, so leaving feng or fresh air even in winter is important, I am pretty sure the gas is scented as I have smelt it from cooking gas bottles, unless anyone else knows different?

  • al

    And the 2012 Darwin award goes to…

  • mr. wiener

    hmm.. why were most of the comments about people pinching soap powder positive, but when it’s gas it’s negative? same as I think. And it will be a darwinian wittling down for the theives and their families, poor bastards. :(

  • jeffli

    its dangerous, stupid, thievery, and it’ll probably be innocent children getting poisoned or burned or what ever.

    sad so sad a country.

  • 丁小龙

    Thievery? Come on!. These people are not to blame entirely for their behavior. Even though they are quite conscious that what they’re doing is quite dangerous and illegal, when you’re a peasant every jiao matters.
    The company there is the real thief! It’s taking out the right to freely use a resource by putting a price to it. Oh chinese socialism.

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  • typingfromwork

    Fuck me these villagers have balls of steel. Also the brains of a racoon, but still.

    • Hong

      What he is pretty stupid because clearly he knows he didn’t really steel much of anything. He small volume of gas that’s gonna last him a very very short amount of time. I mean who steals gas at atmospheric pressure LOL. Most gas you buy is liquified so the volume would be huge under atmospheric pressure.

  • Gay Azn Boi

    Looks like a giant dildo.

  • Boku

    how the hell is she gonna use it?
    once she use it the whole bag is gonna blow up

    • Stimpy

      Yes, my thoughts too. How is he going to use it?

  • Irvin

    And they say chinese are not creative.

  • Peye

    Right, they let someone open a pipe from a gas well in a city to fill a plastic bag with natural gas.(Maybe even sour gas) Believe it or not but to me this stoy is a put on. I like to see the place where the filling takes place and also the place where they are using it.

  • Peye

    looks like sheets of styrofoam or other light material wraped in blue plastic.

    • Yeah – if it was gas the end of the bag would bulge from the pressure, rather than appear crumpled. Maybe the story is true, but the picture is not of a woman carrying a gas-bag.

  • bert

    “The woman skillfully opened the valve to the gas and connected it to the bag she was carrying,”

    Look she turned a valve! So skillful! Here’s a peanut.

  • notorious

    i’ve been avoiding this article.

  • wgh999

    LMAO only in CHINA!

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  • lxpatterson

    Does anyone know what kind of bag those are? They look like whale condoms.

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  • In actual fact if cigarette burnt a hole in the bag the gas might burn (not guaranteed as methane is difficult to light) It would not explode as it is just methane. For it to explode would require air or oxygen to be mixed with it beforehand.

    The classical gas explosions which reduce buildings to rubble are always the result of an explosive gas-air mixture, usually caused by a gas leak. Unlike a point-source explosion from lets say a hand grenade the inverse-square law does not apply. In such cases the entire building is the bomb and the results of the overpressure are quite stupendous. Often the affected building will literally become a pile of bricks.

  • Oh I almost forgot, during WW2 when petrol (gasoline) was in short supply, in England it was common for buses and other vehicles to run on town gas at atmospheric pressure. Usually the gas-bag would be carried in a trailer. The range was not very good as far as I know but liquid fuels were needed for the war effort. The Chinese are only doing what the British did in WW2 and as to the amount of gas being “liberated” quite often it is flared-off as a waste product. In fact the amount of gas flared-off in the world would heat an entire country. Pictures that I have seen of China show that there are not many trees. Probably they were cut down for firewood long ago. If this is the case who can blame the peasants for “borrowing” a pennyworth of gas?

    Gas can of course be made to explode violently. A good trick for parties is to put a small amount of gas into a balloon and then inflate it as normal. When drunkards show-off by bursting the balloons with their cigarettes they will get quite a surprise! To approximate to the stoichiometric mixture one needs to put in a great deal more air than gas. Have fun!

    • Trouse

      Seriously? Do you really think we are still in WW2? People ridiculed China on this because they claim to be the riches country on Asia, but what is this? Chinese are still living like hell.

  • trouse

    Isn’t it china is the riches country in asia now, why still have a lots of them are poor? does it mean their being rich in economy is also a fake thing? same as their products?