ConocoPhillips plans a new fund to address environmental problems in China’s Bohai Bay, following harsh criticism from marine authorities and environmentalists over oil spills in the heavily polluted sea.
The Houston-based company’s announcement of the fund did not include any details regarding its size or specific uses. The company earlier said it would set up a separate fund to pay compensation for damage from the spills, which began in June in Penglai 19-3, China’s largest oil field.
Small seeps from the spills are continuing, according to a report Monday on the State Oceanic Administration’s website.
The government ordered ConocoPhillips China, which operates the Penglai 19-3 oil field with state-owned partner China National Offshore Oil Corp., to stop all production pending a full cleanup and review to ensure no more oil seeps into the sea.
But last week it allowed Conoco to resume pumping of some oil meant to relieve pressure thought to be causing oil and drilling fluid to seep through faults from the offshore reservoir.
Conoco said it was setting up the two oil spill funds "in recognition of its obligations to the people and the government of China, and as part of its commitment to a long term relationship with them."