Oil spills in the N. China Sea

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, August 2, 2011


Editor's Notes:

Three oil spill accidents were reported in north China's Bohai Sea in less than two month from June 2011, and US company ConocoPhillips should be held accountable for two of the incidents. Coastal pollution is back in the public eye.

 Shangdong Penglai oil spill  


New oil spill reported in Bohai Bay

Video: New oil spill reported in Bohai Bay

Map of Bohai Bay

Pollution found on the coast 

Bohai oil spill

Oil cleanup


Bohai Bay















Time: June 17, 2011

Location: Penglai 19-3 oilfield, platforms C, Shandong Province

Operator: US firm ConocoPhilips

This is the second oil spill in the Penglai 19-3 oilfield in north China's Bohai Bay, two weeks after the first leaking. The oceanic administration said Conoco should be held accountable for the incident because it's the operator of the field.

By the end of July, the affected areas of the spills have expanded to the three provinces surrounding Bohai Bay: Liaoning, Hebei and Shandong. [More]


No new leak point found at Conoco's oil platforms

• Experts call for Bohai Sea protection

• Oil spill figures prompt gov't inspections of offshore drilling

• ConocoPhillips to set up 2nd fund for oil spill

• No new oil belt detected from ConocoPhillips platforms

• Oil leaks continue in Bohai Bay

• Loopholes endanger ConocoPhillips' obligations for spill damages

• China launches checks on offshore oil exploration

• One-fifth of Bohai Sea polluted

State Council demands oil spill probe

• ConocoPhillips to set up special fund for handling oil spills

• Lawyer: Conoco should face criminal charges

• CNOOC halts oil production

• CNOOC plans compensation fund after oil spill

CNOOC vows to improve supervision after oil spills

• Maritime authority starts checking Conoco's claim

• ConocoPhillips submits leak report

• Special team established for oil spill lawsuit

• ConocoPhillips: new oil leak sources under control

• ConocoPhillips finds 7 new leaks

• China urges ConocoPhillips to clean up oil spills

• China to sue ConocoPhillips

• Oil spill compensation must reflect fisherman rights

• Nine new oil leaks found off China Bohai Sea

• ConocoPhillips apologizes

US oil firm resumes partial operations at Bohai Sea

• Fishermen to sue oil company over spill pollution

• Agencies show interest in handling Bohai Bay oil spill suit

• ConocoPhillips' spill cleanup measures 'ineffective'

• China presses oil giant for spill compensation

• China to sue oil giant over spill damages

• ConocoPhillips admits new oil spill source

• Suspected oil belt found in Tianjin coastal waters

• Oil leak larger than expected

• Conoco gets more orders for cleanup

• COPC blasted for slow oil spill clean-up

• Deadline for oil leak clean up  

• Oil still leaking at 2 platforms on NE China sea

• Oil spill suspected in massive death of scallop


• Look beyond Bohai Bay

• ConocoPhillips messes up 'crisis management'

• Oil spill lessons

• Oil spill shame

• Oil spill impacts

 Liaoning Suizhong oil spill
Suizhong 36-1 oilfield

• Time: July 12, 2011

Location: Suizhong 36-1 oilfield's central platform, Liaoning Province

Operator: CNOOC

Due to an equipment malfunction in the central control system, a small oil leak was seen in the Suizhong 36-1 oilfield in northern China's Liaoning Province on July 12, 2011. It marked the third spill in two months in Bohai Bay, resulting in about one square kilometre of oil sheen. CNOOC Ltd temporarily shut the oilfield right after the leak and reopened it a few days after the cleanup completed. [More]

 Shangdong Penglai oil spill  
The oil spill from the Penglai 19-3 oilfield polluted an area of more than 840 square kilometers in Bohai Bay.

• Time: June 4, 2011

• Location: Penglai 19-3 oilfield, platforms B and C, Shandong Province

• Operator: US firm ConocoPhilips

The leak from platforms B and C of the Penglai 19-3 oilfield in the Bohai Bay, which started on June 4 and June 17 respectively, polluted 840 square kilometres of water.

China's maritime authorities have urged ConocoPhillips China to clean up the oil-polluted seabed in Northeast China's Bohai Bay by Sunday.


• Offshore oilfield halts operation after spills

• N. China offshore oilfield leak 1,500 barrels of oil

Photos • Video

Environmental impact of leaking oil 

Oil spills often result in both immediate and long-term environmental damage. Some of the environmental damage caused by an oil spill can last for decades after the spill occurs.

How Does an Oil Spill Affect The Environment?thumbnail

Damage to coastal ecosystems

Oil spilled by damaged tankers, pipelines or offshore oil rigs coats everything it touches and becomes an unwelcome but long-term part of every ecosystem it enters. 

Damage to fisheries

Oil spills present the potential for enormous harm to deep ocean and coastal fishing and fisheries. The immediate effects of toxic and smothering oil waste may be mass mortality and contamination of fish and other food species, but long-term ecological effects may be worse.

Damage to marine life and wildlife

The effects are far reaching. Marine and coastal life can be contaminated in a number of ways, through poison by ingestion, destruction of habitat and direct contact with oil. Most birds affected by an oil spill would die unless there is human intervention. Some studies have suggested that, even after cleaning, less than 1% of oil soaked birds survive.

Destroy wildlife habitat and breeding grounds

The long-term damage to various species, and to the habitat and nesting or breeding grounds those species depend upon for their survival, is one of the most far-reaching environmental effects caused by oil spills. 

How to clean up oil spill 


When an oil spill occurs, the oil forms a millimeter-thick slick that floats on the water. No two oil spills are the same because of the variation in oil types, locations, and weather conditions involved. However, broadly speaking, there are four main methods of response. [more]

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