QINGDAO - China's maritime authorities criticized ConocoPhilips China (COPC) on Monday for missing a deadline for cleaning up two oil spills in northeast China's Bohai Bay.
In a notice issued on Sunday, the North China Sea branch of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) ordered COPC to move more quickly to clean up the spills, as oil is continuing to leak from two of the company's platforms.
The branch urged the company to clean up the polluted area by Sunday after COPC's clean-up efforts in the bay's Penglai 19-3 oilfield failed to be completed by the deadline set by the SOA.
The nranch has also ordered COPC to dispose oil pollutants appropriately to avoid further pollution and submit an evaluation report on its clean-up work by next Wednesday.
The SOA used remote satellites, patrol planes and boats to survey the oilfield from Wednesday to Sunday, identifying a polluted area of approximately 1,200 square km in the oilfield.
Oil-drilling operations in the field are jointly conducted by COPC, a subsidiary of U.S. energy giant ConocoPhilips, and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the country's largest offshore oil producer.
COPC first reported the two oil spills to authorities in June. The oil spills have been seen spreading to beaches in north China's Hebei Province and northeast China's Liaoning Province. The spills have been blamed for losses in the provinces' tourism and aquatic farming industries.
About a month later, a third oil spill in Bohai Bay was reported on July 12 at the Suizhong 36-1 oilfield's central platform, which is operated by the CNOOC.