Conoco pays fines for Bohai Bay spills

Jan. 25, 2012 at 7:38 AM

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- ConocoPhillips announced it reached a settlement with the Chinese government to pay damages and help with cleanup efforts from a 2011 oil spill.

Conoco said last year it observed "several small seeps" from a production platform in Bohai Bay associated with a June 17 release. Conoco said it had about 13,000 cubic feet of oil-based drilling mud cleaned up, which it said represented about 90 percent of the total volume released.

The company said it reached an agreement, along with the China National Offshore Oil Corp., to pay around $160 million in compensation to settle public and private claims related to the June accident. That's more than four times the amount sought by local fisherman, but not much compared with operations costs, Bloomberg News reports.

Another $16 million, the company said, would be used to improve fishery resources near the site of last year's spill, one of China's biggest.

"ConocoPhillips is committed to delivering on environmental stewardship as a responsible corporate citizen in China and around the world," the company said in a statement.

Beijing ordered Conoco to shut the Bohai Bay field last year in response to the accident, calling for a full investigation into the leaks.

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