Another Oil Leak off Chinas Coast Halts Drilling Operations
After China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) was recently accused of covering up an oil spill less than two weeks ago, they are cleaning up another oil slick after a rig broke down off the northeast coast of China in the Bohai Bay, making this the third oil incident in recent weeks for the company.
CNOOC is trying to contain the spill, which covers one square kilometer of area in the Bohai Bay, according to the State Oceanic Administration. The company released a statement saying that it was a minor leak and that they expected to have the slick completely cleaned up within 1 day.
The Oceanic Administration reported that the oil leaked into the water after the Suizhong 36-1 field central control system broke down on July 12.
This leak follows another spill incident with CNOOC and ConocoPhillips who have been slammed by Chinese state media and environmental groups for covering up a massive spill on June 4 that was failed to be reported for an entire month. CNOOC had reported that the 840-square kilometer slick was under control, and ConocoPhillips stated that all the leaks were plugged. Then the Oceanic Administration revealed that oil was still leaking into the waters, and ConocoPhillips had only been ordered to locate and seal the problematic sources on the rig as soon as possible.
In result of the incidents, the administration has told ConocoPhillips to stop oil production at two platforms at Penglai 19-3, China’s largest offshore oilfield, due to the slow progress to clean up the leaks from June 4.
This July 12 leak follows an explosion at a CNOOC refinery earlier in the week in the province of Guangdong, which is still undergoing investigations.