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China's maritime authorities seek oil spill compensation

08-16-2011 20:35 BJT Special Report:Oil Spill in Bohai Bay |

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China's maritime authorities have filed a lawsuit seeking compensation from the parties responsible for the Bohai Bay oil spill. The oil field is operated by the Chinese subsidiary of ConocoPhillips, but was jointly developed by both China's National Offshore Oil Corporation, CNOOC, and the Houston based firm.

On June the 4th, oil was seen on the surface close to Platform B at China's biggest offshore oil field, Peng-Lai, in north east China's Bohai Bay. ConocoPhillips later determined that the oil stemmed from a seep in the seabed floor. Two weeks later oil and gas bubbles were observed approximately two miles away from Platform C. All in all, an estimated 2,500 barrels of oil and mud have leaked, polluting nearly 840 square kilometers.

ConocoPhillips say two new leaks have since been discovered in the seabed under Platform B, about 11 meters away from the previous source. Joint venture partner CNOOC says the country's largest offshore oil producer has apologized for the new oil spills, and will ask it to curb the leaks by the end of August.



China's maritime authorities have filed a lawsuit seeking compensation
from the parties responsible for the Bohai Bay oil spill.

Jiang Yongzhi, General Manager of PR Department, CNOOC, said, "We have asked ConocoPhillips to make public the actual situation. We shall continue to supervise their work and make sure the company meets the requirements of the State Oceanic Administration to curb the leak and clean up the polluted region."

Bohai Bay is situated in northern China, west to the Yellow Sea. Oil spills have a lasting impact on any marine ecosystem, but Bohai Bay is especially vulnerable since it's nearly landlocked. Dead seaweed and rotting fish have been spotted in waters around Nan-huang-cheng Island, about 75 kilometers from the leak. The spill has also spread to the beaches of neighboring Hebei and Liaoning provinces, affecting tourism and local fisheries.

The State Oceanic Administration has confirmed it will file a lawsuit against the responsible parties seeking compensation for the ecological damage to the Bay. But, recent reports putting the figure at more than 100 million yuan or nearly 16 million dollars is denied by the administration. It says it's still investigating the incident and no official compensation figures have been released.

ConocoPhillips says a containment device was made for the leak near Platform B and the majority of the seepage has been controlled. A cementing procedure was used for the leak near Platform C and contained within 48 hours. The firm currently has more than 900 employees and 30 vessels involved in the clean up.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CNTV.CN

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