China Evaluates the Impact of Two Oil Leaks

The Chinese government has announced today the start of an urgent assessment to evaluate the impact of the two accidents that occurred on June 4 on oil rigs located in the Bohai Sea, in northwestern China.

According to the newspaper “South China Morning Post,” this decision came last Thursday after discovered a new oil slick of two miles long floating near the platforms.

After investigation, a press conference will be held in Beijing on Tuesday to release the details of the analysis and the steps to be taken to minimize the consequences of the spill.

Although events have not had a significant impact on production, the area where the accident occurred is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world because of its proximity to the capital, Beijing.

In addition, the platforms involved are close to Changdao, a chain of islands with high biodiversity and a tourist attraction area that bases its economy on aquaculture and the service sector.

Zhao Xuelei, a researcher in China Institute of Oceanography, said that the oil and pollutants used to control the spill “could have a devastating effect on marine life.”

Greenpeace accused the government of lacking transparency and said in a statement that the executive “must learn from the oil spills in Dalian last year, providing the public with timely, detailed and complete information about the environmental impact of the incident.”

Government sources quoted by the newspaper claimed that two unrelated accidents to be investigated and “independently” to clarify the causes of the two events, which left no deaths or injuries.

Although the cleanup began from the days following the spill, the executive acknowledged that the damage is “too large” while declared that they will provide “all necessary means for the total elimination of the discharge.”

Both platforms were operated by Conoco Phillipps U.S., a company that works in conjunction with the Corporation in China National Offshore Fuel and, according to the website of the company, its rate of production was 33 million barrels per day in 2009.