Wednesday, September 21, 2011

China, Sue ConocoPhillips over oil spills

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The report, which was published on Wednesday, said that the State, Oceanic Administration with the aim of a team of lawyers to end was, set up of the month to sue for damages. He cited an agency spokesman said that 49 Chinese firms had applied, to the legal assistance grant.

The two liquids, with 3,200 barrels of oil and drilling fluids, entered the country of the biggest offshore oil field, known as Penglai chapter, and continued through at least 324 square miles in the Bohai Bay. Field Penglai was commonly known as Cnooc by China National offshore oil Corporation, developed and ConocoPhillips China operates.

As with a huge spill last year of a port facility of PetroChina in the city of Dalian, located on the edge of the Bohai Sea, environmentalists and residents of the affected areas have expressed anger with the Government of delay messages or detailed reports of releases. But this time even more anger is aimed at ConocoPhillips. It complicates the answer of the Chinese Government, because it is in the process which attract American companies to China for oil and gas in shale fields to drill.

The Xinhua report said the oil slick had spread to the beaches in the provinces of Hebei and Liaoning and were of a slowdown in tourism and is held responsible for the economic damage to aquatic farming industry. Also, the report says that "nine new oil spill sources" had been found in the Bay as Aug. 20. John Roper, a spokesman for ConocoPhillips, headquartered in Houston, said Thursday in an E-mail message, that the company had received no prior notice to litigation.

"As far as compensation goes, we listen to all follow requests and Chinese law, but we have received no message claims,", he said. "Cleanup are very good effort." "We are more than 95 percent finished cleaning up petroleum-based drilling mud, and expect, our goal of 100 percent is up to the end of August to achieve."

Mr Roper said the nine seeps, the Xinhua were cited not by new leaks but were residual oil and drilling spill spill mud from a June, now migrated to the surface. He said "Divers only were able to see from the seabed drilling mud it was cleared up in the,". The oil seeps are small, grouped together and are a total volume of liquids, from one to two releasing litres a day "i.e. immediately contain and cleaned up."

Mr Roper added, that it no more oil sheen on the surface of the water.

In Hong Kong, the Chairman of Cnooc has Wang Yilin, the compensation issue on Wednesday.

"If Cnooc is governed, to pay compensation, we surely meet our commitment and do the right thing," News said a profit, according to Bloomberg Mr. Wang at a press conference to reporters after the company the first half of. "Cnooc is a responsible company and we honor our long-term commitment to the country, the people and the environment."

Georg Storaker, President of ConocoPhillips China, Wednesday at a press conference in Beijing, said that the spill in Bohai Bay not in comparison to the catastrophic BP spill in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. On Thursday, Mr.. Storaker derision by some Chinese news organizations and commentators has comments. The English-language edition of global times, a populist newspaper published an unsigned editorial of lambasting ConocoPhillips.

"ConocoPhillips like certain Westerners in China life", the editorial said. "they can entirely law-abiding back to home, but against the law are violated in China." Some companies can also their Chinese colleagues in under-the-table deals, the bribery of officials and cut employee benefits outsmart. "ConocoPhillips is not only a hole in the Bohai Bay, but also a hole in the Chinese legal system ditch."

United States energy analysts say that China is a tricky political strategy after internal debate among the Chinese authorities to punish such as the American oil company. Press the Chinese to want, protection of the environment, to show that analysts say, but they seem not hard enough to foreign investment in energy to scare away or Cnooc embarrass.

"China all the help that they can get energy efficiency, to reach, so that they can afford Hardball, needs play," said Fadel Gheit, a senior oil analyst at Oppenheimer & company. "China will press, but not to the breaking point and how Hugo Chavez." "You need the capital, the technology and market know-how."

Michal Meidan, analyst for Asia at Eurasia Group, a guidance note in fact, that it took a long time for the Chinese authorities on a legal strategy decide, but, that it to the public, to respond in particular blogger, the indignation expressed, that ConocoPhillips not publicly immediately the leak reveal. "There is a need for the Chinese signal caution and concern for the protection of the environment, but this is very much for a domestic audience,", she said.

She noticed that Cnooc, which is a 51-percent stake to the operation of the operator has, although the American company may also require sentenced to a fine. "they have only a symbolic fine or a slap on the wrist officially, but internally it is a pretty big deal."

Edward WONG reported from Beijing and Clifford Krauss from Houston.

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