ConocoPhillips blasted for slow action on oil leaks
Updated: 2011-08-06 17:45
QINGDAO - Chinese maritime authorities have criticized ConocoPhillips China for acting slowly to entirely block oil leaks in northeast China's Bohai Bay.
A notice issued Saturday by the North China Sea branch of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), located in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao, said a panel of eight experts from the SOA inspected two leaking platforms of the bay's Penglai 19-3 oilfield Thursday.
The panel found that the company did suspend its drilling operations on the two platforms, but acted slowly in meeting the SOA's requirements of "screening out all potential sources for the oil spills and blocking the leaks once and for all."
Further, the panel said that the company did not fulfill its promise of "making sure oil spills would not reach shore, nor affect environmental fragile areas," which was proposed by the SOA.
ConocoPhillips China, a subsidiary of USenergy giant Conocophillips, first reported the spills to authorities in June. The oil spills have spread to beaches in Hebei and Liaoning provinces. The spills have been blamed for losses in the provinces' tourism and aquatic farming industries.
On Wednesday, ConocoPhillips China said it had found pollutants near the Penglai 19-3 platform C during its clean-up work, and while the specific figure has not yet been calculated, this would drive up the total oil and mud leakage to more than earlier predictions of 1,500 barrels.
Also earlier this week, the SOA branch criticized ConocoPhillips China for missing a deadline for cleaning up the two spills.
Oil-drilling operations in the field are jointly conducted by ConocoPhillips China and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the country's largest offshore oil producer.