US Oil Company Reaches Settlement Over Chinese Oil Spill

Posted January 25th, 2012 at 5:00 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese officials say U.S.-based oil giant ConocoPhillips has agreed to pay nearly $160 million in damages in connection with last year’s massive oil spill off China’s northeastern coast.

The agriculture ministry says it reached a deal with the company to settle scores of lawsuits from local fishermen, who claim the spill in the Bohai Bay affected their livelihoods.

Part of the settlement will be placed in a fund established by ConocoPhillips last September to mitigate the damage from the spill.

About 700 barrels of oil and 2,500 barrels of drilling mud leaked into the bay from the Penglai oil field, fouling beaches and affecting the bay’s fishing and agricultural industries.

ConocoPhillips was subject to a slew of angry accusations that it violated operating rules and lied about the state of the oil leak.

The oil field is jointly owned by ConocoPhillips and Chinese offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC.