China’s neighboring South Korea has expressed concerns over a huge spill after a breakdown at a rig off last month off the northeast coast, with its government calling for a bilateral environment meeting to discuss solutions to contain the contamination Tuesday.
Oil continues to spill in the Penglai 19-3 offshore oil field in Baohao Bay, which is being operated by ConocoPhillips China, in a joint development agreement with China’s largest offshore oil producer China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).
The Chinese government has not yet informed its neighboring South Korea government of the location and the amount of oil leaked, citing reasons that “the current in Baohai Bay moves in a counterclockwise direction, and won’t (push the oil slick) into South Korea,” Global Times reported, quoting The Chosun Ilbo.
The South Korean government has proposed an advance of the bilateral environment meeting, which was originally slated for later of the half of this year, due to oil leak concerns in Baohai Bay, South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Byung-jae told reporters Tuesday.
“I think it would be conscientious of China to provide immediate information on the matter and possible outcomes to neighboring nations,” he said.
Yonhap News cited a China Oceanic Administration report as saying that another leakage at the Suizhong 36-1 oil field in Liaoning Province in north China, hit CNOOC after the Penglai oil leak on July 12, has polluted an area of about one square kilometers. The Suizhong oil field and Penglai offshore field, the agency said, are among the most representative oil fields in Bahai Bay.
The report also said that situations were far more serious than expected in Baohai Bay, with some 840 square kilometers of waters was heavily polluted, and 3,400 square kilometers nearby suffered varying degrees of pollution from 1 to 3 (the most serious pollution is leveled at 5).