The oil spill off the coast of China is spreading: there were more oil leaked from the ocean floor, reported the Chinese State Oceanic Administration (SOA) on Friday, according to the official news agency Xinhua.
The extent of pollution in the Bohai Bay on the Yellow Sea was also greater than previously acknowledged. It has been reported that 1500 barrels have been leaked from the field Penglai 19-3, but new figure indecates that 2500 barrels were leaked from the ocean floor, according to the company ConocoPhillips.
The company was reluctant to reveal the oil spill in June, after Chinese bloggers reported two oil leaks on the Internet. Also, the true extent was covered up from the beginning, which caused great indignation. In the state media, the oil project is still a subsidiary of Houston in Texas represented in US-based oil company ConocoPhillips, however, 51 percent of the project belongs to China’s largest state offshore oil company China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).
The oil company itself was not talking about a new leak, only conceded that “small quantities of oil” near the C platform had leaked to the water surface.
On the other hand, according to Xinhua, the Oceanic Administration reported that there was a new leak, 10.8 meters away from the place where oil had already leaked beforehand. Suspect had previously expressed by investigators of marine authority that had discovered oil at the water surface. Xinhua has also commented that ConocoPhillips China has done little to identify potential leaks or to prevent further leaks.
The oil spill in the Bohai Bay have affected the beaches of northern Chinese provinces Shandong and Hebei. There were huge losses for the tourism and fishing industries. The oil company was slow in the progress of cleanup and a typhoon also caused technical problems. The authorities demanded an apology from ConocoPhillips for the slow action with the oil spill.
Chinese observers drew comparisons to the oil spill with the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It was also recalled that last summer there was an oil spill at a pipeline near the port city of Dalian which was not officially notified. There was also fierce criticism on the Chinese regulatory authorities, because the relevant state ocean management didn’t disclose the first oil leak to the public until a month later.