CNOOC: All oil spill sources blocked off, October 25, 2011

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the country's largest offshore oil producer, said Monday that all oil spill sources have been identified and blocked off at ConocoPhillips' oil platforms in northern China's Bohai Bay.


Chen Bi, vice president of CNOOC, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that no new leak source had been detected in the seabed of the ConocoPhillips' platforms B and C in the Penglai 19-3 oil field.


All oil-based mud in the seabed of platform C has been cleaned or taken under control, said Chen, adding that oil spots detected on the sea surface have been decreasing significantly.


After working together with ConocoPhillips, the clean-up work has met the requirements of the State Oceanic Administration, said Chen.


No new leak point had been detected in the seabed of platform C in the past two months, said the company.


Over 100 divers had been sent underwater by Oct. 14 to clean 22,062 cubic meters of oily water, which included 416 cubic meters of oil-based mud, CNOOC said.


The divers have used covers, like canvases and sandbags, to block off the small amount of oil-based mud that remained unreachable, the company said.


Less than two liters of oil per day leaked into the sea of the Penglai 19-3 oil field since Oct. 11, and has been "cleaned as soon as possible," said Chen.


More than 5,500 square kilometers of water in the Bohai Sea has been polluted by oil spilled at the platform since June, causing the country's worst offshore maritime pollution.


The field is being mined by ConocoPhillips China, the U.S. oil giant's subsidiary, under a joint development agreement with CNOOC.


CNOOC will urge and help ConocoPhillips China to launch a thorough inspection on the environmental impact of the spill, in order to be sure that all the possible damage to China's environment has been properly handled, said Chen.


According to Chen, CNOOC has also said that it will establish a long-term mechanism to ensure environmental safety for maritime production.