China Plans Safety Inspections of Offshore Facilities

The State Administration of Work Safety said the inspection program was begun because of the Bohai Bay oil spills that began in June. ConocoPhillips has agreed to create a fund to compensate victims of the spills.

Four days after Houston-based ConocoPhillips announced it will create a fund to compensate victims of oil spills in China’s Bohai Bay that began in June, China's Xinhua news agency reported Sept. 10 that the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) soon will begin comprehensive safety inspections on offshore exploration and production facilities. The safety authority asked China National Petroleum Corporation, China Petrochemical Corporation, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, ConocoPhillips China, Kerr-McGee China Petroleum Ltd., Roc Oil (Bohai) Company, CACT Operators Group, Husky Oil China Ltd., Shanghai Petroleum Co., Energy Development Corporation (EDC) China, and Tincy Group Energy to conduct examinations on their own fixed and mobile platforms, offshore pipelines, and on-shore oil terminals by Nov. 10, according to a Sept. 11 report posted by People's Daily Online.

ConocoPhillips did not disclose the size of the compensation fund in its Sept. 6 announcement. ConocoPhillips China Inc. is receiving assistance from the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) with the cleanup.

The report said SAWS officials and outside experts will start their inspections in late November and will examine well control during drilling operations, safety management during production, facilities, and management during extreme weather.

"The order came after the State Council on Wednesday called for strengthened monitoring and management of the marine environment as well as safety checks over the country's ocean oil fields to toughen safety measures and erase potential risks," it said.

CNOOC reported Aug. 12 that ConocoPhillips China Inc., which operates the Penglai 19-3 offshore oil field, had confirmed about 3,200 barrels of oil had spilled by that point, and about 1,700 barrels of it had been recovered from the seabed near the Penglai 19-3 platform.

"ConocoPhillips deeply regrets these incidents and apologizes for the impact that the incidents have had on the Chinese people and the environment," James J. Mulva, chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips, said Sept. 6.

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