CNOOC reports another oil spill in Bohai Bay

By Phaedra Friend Troy

China's largest producer of offshore oil and gas, CNOOC (NYSE:CEO) has reported a small oil spill in Bohai Bay. The oil release at Suizhong 36-1 oil field follows two oil leaks during June at the Peng Lai oil field.

On the morning of July 12, at 1:30 a.m. local time, a malfunction occurred at the central control system on the Suizhong 36-1 oil field, prompting CNOOC to immediately shut-down the equipment. Gas vented from the flare released a small amount of oil into Bohai Bay, as the system depressurized.

CNOOC immediately activated its emergency response procedures to contain and clean the oil release.

Initial estimates of the amount of oil spilled range from .1 to .15 cubic meters, or less than one barrel of oil.

The leak caused a one-square-kilometer oil sheen, which is presently being cleaned. The oil sheen is expected to be completely cleaned within 24 hours of the accident.

The malfunctioning equipment has now been fixed.

A major oil producer for CNOOC, the Suizhong 36-1 oil field is wholly owned and operated by the company. Located in the Liaodong Bay in northern Bohai Bay, Suizhong 36-1 was developed in phases by multiple production facilities and serves as a production hub for nearby fields.

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