Southwest Petroleum University (SWPU), located in Chengdu City, the capital city of the Sichuan province, was founded in 1958. SWPU was originally named Sichuan Petroleum Institute and in 1970, was renamed to Southwest Petroleum Institute. It became Southwest Petroleum University (SWPU) after achieving university status in 2005. Originally, SWPU was supported and administered by the Ministry of Petroleum Industry and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Since 2000, the university has been co-administered by both Sichuan Province and CNPC.
SWPU has two campuses: the original campus at Nanchong City and the main campus at Chengdu City with a total area of about 3,000 mu (494 acres). The total floor space is more than 900,000 square meters.
The university is divided into 18 schools and departments that, together, offer 60 bachelor's degree programs. SWPU is one of the first universities in China that was authorized to confer bachelor, masters and doctoral degrees. It has one provincial-level graduate school offering three post-doctoral research programs. SWPU has 23 doctor’s degree programs, 85 master’s degree programs, and one key discipline program in oil and gas engineering. At the provincial and ministerial level, it has seven laboratories and 25 research and technical centers, including a center for well-completion techniques built with the assistance of the United Nations. In addition, it has the Sino-Canadian Training Center for Natural Gas Exploration and Exploitation, built with the support of the Canadian government. At the national level, it has one key laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation in which three key disciplines are pursued. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, SWPU owns an oil and gas equipment key laboratory, the Natural Gas Exploitation Engineering Research Center, and the Oil Field Petrochemical Engineering Research Center. At the university, two extensive libraries are available offering a collection of about 2.64 million bound volumes.
Students from across the nation attend SWPU. Each year, more than 5,000 first-year undergraduates enroll in addition to over 1,000 first-year master’s and doctoral degree candidates. The present enrollment of full-time students is more than 28,684, including 8 international students, 21,293 undergraduates, 3,379 postgraduates and 588 PhD students. More than 100,000 students have graduated from SWPU since its establishment. Within the past ten years, the proportion of students successfully being employed is more than 94 percent every year.
Currently there are 2,260 academic staff and general staff, of which there are 1,456 teaching staff, including 211 full-professors.
SWPU has been involved in over 6,121 scientific programs since 2001 and has obtained 783 million RMB (renminbi) in scientific funding, winning 95 provincial or ministerial prizes. 495 patents have been approved, 184 of which are invented patents.
SWPU has established worldwide cooperative relationships with universities and research institutions in the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, Germany, Canada, Russia and India.
The schools and departments are organized into the following divisions:
1958～1962 Sichuan Petroleum Institute run by the local government of Sichuan Province
1962～1970 Sichuan Petroleum Institute run by the Ministry of Petroleum Industry, P.R.China
1970～1978 Southwest Petroleum Institute run by the local government of Sichuan Province
1978～1988 Southwest Petroleum Institute run by the Ministry of Petroleum Industry, P.R. China
1988～1998 Southwest Petroleum Institute run by China National Petroleum Corporation, P.R.China
1998～2000 Southwest Petroleum Institute run by China National Petroleum Corporation (Group), P.R.China
2000～2005 Southwest Petroleum Institute run by the local government of Sichuan Province
2005～ Southwest Petroleum University run by the local government of Sichuan Province