China to inspect coastal oil spill risks

Updated: 2011-10-18 20:38


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BEIJING - China will launch inspections along its coastal regions in a bid to cut off potential pollution risks arising from oil spills on offshore land, said a spokesman with the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) on Tuesday.

Spokesman Tao Detian said the inspections are aimed at enhancing the awareness of local governments and companies about safe production and the prevention of environmental hazards, as accidents arising from oil spills have increased in recent years.

The MEP and six other ministries and commissions have formed seven work groups to conduct inspections in 11 coastal provinces and municipalities, including Tianjin, Guangdong, Shanghai and Zhejiang.

The inspections, which are scheduled to end in early November, will focus on companies related to continental petroleum exploration, extraction, refining, storage and transportation, as well as ports and docks, said Tao.

State-owned petrochemical enterprises will be given "special attention" during the inspections, Tao said.

Since June, more than 5,500 square km of water in the Bohai Sea has been polluted by oil spilled from a platform of ConocoPhillips China, a subsidiary of the US oil giant, causing the country's worst offshore maritime pollution to date.

The field is being mined by ConocoPhillips China under a joint development agreement with CNOOC, China's largest offshore oil producer.