China oil field production suspended

Sept. 5, 2011 at 1:10 AM
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BEIJING, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- An order to ConocoPhillips China to suspend all production at the leaking Chinese oil field will cut daily output by a further 40,000 barrels, its partner said.

The latest order was issued Friday by China's State Oceanic Administration, Xinhua reported. An earlier agency order in July to suspend operations on two platforms had already cut production by 22,000 barrels a day, the state-run Chinese news agency said.

The new order to suspend all production at the Penglai 19-3 oilfield in northern China's Bohai Bay would reduce output by another 40,000 barrels a day, Xinhua reported the China National Offshore Oil Corp. said.

ConocoPhillips China, a subsidiary of the U.S. oil giant ConocoPhillips, is the operator of the oil field with a 49 percent stake. Its partner, China National, owns the other 51 percent.

Chinese media, quoting the state agency, have said more than 3,200 barrels of oil and oil-based mud have leaked intermittently from two of the platforms in Penglai 19-3, China's largest offshore field, since June 4 and that the leaks have polluted more than 2,120 square miles of seawater and reached the shores surrounding Bohai Bay.

A Xinhua report Sunday quoted the state agency as saying ConocoPhillips China had failed to meet requirements for finding potential sources for oil spills and sealing previous oil leaks by the Aug. 31 deadline. The report said the company last week submitted a report claiming the goals had been met.

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