ConocoPhillips, CNOOC reach settlement on Bohai Bay spill

By OGJ editors

ConocoPhillips and CNOOC Ltd. reached an agreement with China’s Ministry of Agriculture in which the oil companies agreed to pay about $160 million in compensation for two oil spill incidents during June 2011 in Penglai 19-3 oil field in Bohai Bay.

The agreement settles public and private claims of potentially affected fishermen in certain Bohai Bay communities, ConocoPhillips said in a Jan. 24 release.

The government in September halted drilling and production at the field, which remains shutin. On June 4, seepage was observed on the seabed along a natural fault near Platform B. Oil and gas bubbles were seen on the surface June 17 near Platform C, 2 miles from the Platform B seep (OGJ Online, Sept. 12, 2011).

ConocoPhillips also said Jan. 24 that it designated $16 million of a previously established environmental fund to be used to improve fisher resources.

Previously, CNOOC approved a fluid discharge and depressurization plan from operator ConocoPhillips China Inc.

Since June 19, less than 1 bbl of oil has been released, ConocoPhillips said, adding that the estimated total volume released was 700 bbl of oil and 2,589 bbl of drilling mud. In November, China’s State Oceanic Administration said “Conoco was deficient in management of the field.”

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