U.S. energy giant ConocoPhillips China will pay 1.09 billion yuan (173.02 million U.S. dollars) in compensation for oil spills that occurred in north China's Bohai Bay starting in June 2011, the State Oceanic Administration said Friday.
Moreover, China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) and the Chinese unit of ConocoPhillips will pay 480 million yuan and 113 million yuan, respectively, for environmental protection efforts in the Bohai Sea, according to the administration.
"The money will be spent, according to China's laws and rules, on the ecological construction in, and environmental protection of, the Bohai Sea, cleaning up petroleum pollutants in the sea, fixing damage to the marine ecological environment as well as monitoring and research on the impacts of oil spills to the ecosystem," the administration said.
However, the administration did not elaborate on how the spending will be arranged.
The severe oil spills in the Penglai 19-3 oilfield in Bohai Bay have polluted over 6,200 square km of water since June, an area about nine times the size of Singapore, and caused huge losses in the tourism and aquatic farming industries of Liaoning and Hebei provinces.
The Penglai 19-3 oilfield is one of China's largest offshore oilfields, with daily production of about 160,000 barrels. ConocoPhillips China operates the Penglai 19-3 oilfield, in which CNOOC, China's largest offshore oil producer, holds a 51-percent stake while ConocoPhillips holds 49 percent.