A Chinese authority said the local unit of ConocoPhillips has found nine oil leak sites amid intensifying pressure on the company to clean up oil spills in the Bohai Bay. The company says it believes the source of the seeps is not new.
ConocoPhillips China operates offshore wells in the Bohai's Penglai 19-3 oil field in partnership with state-run China National Offshore Oil Corp. The two spills, which occurred in June, covered 840 square kilometres, drawing criticism from environmentalists and local media, which in turn has pressured the government to take a stern, public line.
The North China Sea branch of the State Oceanic Administration said ConocoPhillips "admitted" on Saturday that there were nine oil leak sites on the seabed on the northwest side of the C Platform of the Penglai 19-3 oil field. It provided no further details and said it has asked the company to conduct a thorough investigation.
ConocoPhillips spokesman Rich Johnson said yesterday that the company's Chinese unit is closely monitoring and taking samples from nine "small seeps" that are appearing in a 15-metre-diametre area on the sea floor about 15 metres north of the C Platform.