ConocoPhillips receives approval to resume full operations in China oilfield
Beijing, China (4E) – U.S. energy firm ConocoPhillips obtained clearance to resume full operations at an oilfield off the China’s northeastern coast after being suspended in 2011 due to oil spill.
The country’s State Oceanic Administration announced Saturday that the Penglai 19-3 oil field located in northern Bohai Bay could now fully operate after changes were made, ending a 17-month shutdown. The decision was made following the December approval by the National Energy Administration of a revised overall development plan for the field.
The shutdown was then ordered by Chinese regulators in response to a small leak, considered having lesser impact compared to offshore spills seen in other countries. The company said that two leaks occurred in separate sites in June 2011, which resulted to 700 barrels of oil and 2,500 barrels of drilling mud spilling into the ocean.
ConocoPhillips and Chinese energy company Cnooc last year agreed to pay $161mn to settle compensation claims brought by the two spills. ConocoPhillips, which operated field, would make the payments, while Cnooc would set up an ecology fund intended for the restoration and preservation of fishing resources within the affected areas.
Last year, the Houston-based company gradually resumed operations, although production only reached 45,000 barrels a day in the third quarter compared to its pre-spills level of 62,000 barrels a day.