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China considers tighter regulation of offshore oil exploration

(Xinhua) Updated : 2016-09-06

The Chinese government is considering issuing wide-ranging regulations to make offshore oil explorers that harm the marine environment to pay damages.

The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council on Monday published an early draft of the regulation.

According to the draft, the damages will cover the costs of measures to undo environmental damage and restore ecological balance in marine environments.

Reasonable expenditure on monitoring, evaluation and professional consulting will also be demanded.

The damages will be claimed by governmental agencies, the draft said.

If the environmental destruction affects fisheries, companies will also have to compensate the relevant industries, the draft said.

The draft outlines several responsibilities for offshore oil explorers and developers regarding environmental protection, including pollution prevention and control, as well as the obligation to take emergency response measures in the case of oil spills.

Operators should immediately report to authorities when oil spills occur, the draft said, adding that they should also take effective measures to respond and cooperate with investigations.

Other organizations or individuals are also told to notify authorities when they detect such accidents.

In addition to monetary compensation, perpetrators will also be subjected to punishment, including fines and the suspension of operations, the draft said.

The draft is open for public consultation until October 4.