ConocoPhillips says China spill mostly cleaned up
US oil giant ConocoPhillips, facing lawsuits and mounting public anger over a huge oil spill off China's northeast coast, said Wednesday it has sealed all leaks and cleaned up most of the slick.
China's State Oceanic Administration (SOA) had ordered the firm to seal off all oil leaks near a platform in Bohai Bay which is jointly operated by state-owned CNOOC and halt any more spillages by the end of August.
ConocoPhillips said in a statement on its website it had cleaned up most of the slick but was continuing to "capture any potential remnants that may work their way to the seabed".
The company added that it "sincerely regrets these incidents in Bohai Bay and accepts its responsibility".
About 3,200 barrels of oil and oil-based mud -- a substance used as a lubricant in drilling -- have leaked into Bohai Bay, the official Xinhua news agency has said, citing ConocoPhillips China president Georg Storaker.
The SOA-- which supervises and manages China's seas -- has said it plans to sue ConocoPhillips and seek compensation for the spill, which was first detected in early June.
A Chinese lawyer is also suing CNOOC and ConocoPhillips over the leaks, state media has said.
Fishermen in the Shandong, Hebei and Liaoning provinces that border Bohai Bay, east of Beijing, allege that oil from the leaks has killed a large part of their harvest.
(c) 2011 AFP