The China North Sea subsidiary of U.S.-based ConocoPhillips is facing claims from fishermen and the nation’s marine protection authorities while admitting last Saturday that oil spills continued in Bohai Bay more than two months after roughly 700 barrels of oil spilled into the sea in June.
The benefits of fishermen who are suffering from Bohai Bay’s oil leak should be well protected, as well as the nation’s interest in marine ecological environment, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing a joint investigation panel.
Nine new spill sources were found on the northwest side of Platform C of the Penglai 19-3 oilfield in Bohai Bay, ConocoPhillips’s local unit told the North China Sea Branch of the State Oceanic Administration on August 20.
Airline cruises on August 19 found oil clicks were covering three water areas, with their lengths at 5 kilometers to 10 kilometers and widths from 50 meters to 100 meters.
Other leaks had been discovered in June and early August at the same oilfield—which is operated in cooperation with state-run China National Offshore Oil Corp. –and now the amount of spilled oil has increased to 2,500 barrels.
ConocoPhillips’s China unit last Friday apologized over two independent oil leaks in Bohai Bay, and pledged to take up the responsibilities of the clear-up efforts.
A series of claims of compensation against ConocoPhillips and its business partner CNOOC, China’s largest offshore crude and natural gas producer, have emerged two months after the Bohai leak, China Business News reported.
About 1,000 families who make their living fishing in Changli County of Hebei Province are affected by the oil leak, with an average economic loss of around 300,000 yuan, the report said quoting Liu Jingsheng, a fish farmer in the county.
Some 700 families of them have said they would appoint lawyers’ office to make a claim for them, it added.
However, whether the losses of the fish farmers are directly related to the oil leak or not has yet to be confirmed by government authorities, the paper said, adding that both ConocoPhillips—the responsible party—and CNOOC, how owns a 51 of stake in the oilfield have skirted around the subject on compensation.