Situations of the oil spills off China’s northeast coast may be worse than expected, experts say, as a major state energy company failed to disclose full and immediate information about spills.
The China National Offshore Oil Corporation, China’s largest offshore oil producer, had waited until July 1, or half months later after the spill, to confirm details of the accident to investors. It also sidestepped direct questions about the amount and the cause of leakage, and its disclosure of the areas affected by the oil spill fell far short of that of previous reports.
In its dilatory and only response, CNOOC said in a statement on July 1 that leakage in the Penglai 19-3 oilfield, which was observed in early or mid June, had been under control.
The Penglai 19-3 field is the current largest offshore oil & gas field, covering an area of 3,200 square kilometers, and is being operated by a joint venture between CNOOC and ConocoPhillips China (CPOC). CNOOC holds 51 percent of stake while the operator, CPOC, has the rest of 49 percent.
The cause of the spill was under investigation, a local newspaper Guangzhou Daily cited a CNOOC resource as reported. The accident has a very little effect over the environment, with no injuries, no reports of damages on wide lives, fishing or navigation, the report said.
The slick from the leak stretches for about 200 meters, according to CNOOC. That was quite a huge gap from previous reports of “3 kilometers long and two or three meters wide,” reported by China Business News.
The newspaper also reported that fish farmers along the area began to suffer. A farmer living nearly 40 nautical miles away from the Penglai 19-3 oil field has seen a mass death of fish beginning from ten days earlier, although the cause of the death has not yet confirmed, the report said.
The leakage is probably because of accidents or breakdown on the drilling platform, said Han Xiaoping, Chief Information Officer for China Energy Net. The leakage has lasted for days, which indicates that the situation is relatively serious, he added.
In addition, Bohai Bay is a heavily populated inland sea and the sea food,
exposed to the oil spill, would cause health problems once eaten, Han