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US oil giant admits to massive China oil spill

Reuters

A huge oil spill off China’s north-east coast was far more extensive than first thought, said the US oil giant behind it, ConocoPhillips, in a statement Friday. 

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More than 2,100 barrels of oil and oil-based mud – a substance used as a lubricant in undersea drilling – leaked from two platforms in the oilfield it operates with its partner, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, in Bohai Bay.

The problem was first detected in early June.

ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest US oil company, has been slammed by China’s government-run State Oceanographic Administration for its “inefficient and temporary" response to the disaster.

The company claims to have already cleaned up approximately 70 per cent of the mineral oil-based mud on the seabed, and says it will have finished the operation by the end of August.

The oil giant originally hoped to have finished by 7 August, but the operation was delayed by Typhoon Muifa and the discovery of additional oil on the seabed.

Fishermen in the Shandong, Hebei and Liaoning provinces that border Bohai Bay allege that oil from the leak has killed a large part of their harvest of seafood.

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