ConocoPhillips admits new oil spill source

Updated: 2011-08-12 15:13


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QINGDAO - ConocoPhillips China, a subsidiary of the Houston-based oil company ConocoPhillips, admitted that a new oil spill source has been found from the company's platforms in China's Bohai Bay, China's maritime authorities said Friday.

The company previously denied that there were any new spills coming from its platforms in the Penglai 19-3 oilfield in the bay, the North China Sea branch of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said.

The new leak was first suspected by an investigatory team sent by the SOA branch when they spotted a new oil slick on the surface of the bay.

ConocoPhillips China said the new spill source is located just 10.8 meters away from the previous one and admitted that it failed to rule out potential oil spill sources during previous clean-up efforts.

The SOA branch said that ConocoPhillips China has made little progress in checking for potential oil spill sources and preventing more spills.

A total of 2,500 barrels of oil and mud have leaked from two of the company's platforms in the bay so far.

ConocoPhillips China has yet to come up with a detailed, reliable clean-up plan for the spills, the branch said.

The company first reported the two oil spills in the Penglai 19-3 oilfield to authorities in June. The oil spills have been seen spreading to beaches in north China's provinces of Hebei and Liaoning. The spills have been blamed for losses in the provinces' tourism and aquatic farming industries.

Oil-drilling operations in the field are jointly conducted by ConocoPhillips China and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, the country's largest offshore oil producer.