ConocoPhillips, CNOOC to pay $267 million for China spill

Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:15am EDT
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BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. oil firm ConocoPhillips (COP.N: Quote) and its partner CNOOC have agreed to pay 1.683 billion yuan ($266.89 million) in compensation for a series of oil spills off the coast of northern China last year, China's State Oceanic Administration said in a statement on Friday.

Leaks at the Penglai 19-3 oilfield in China's Bohai Bay beginning last June polluted 6,200 square km of water before they were finally sealed in late October.

Operator ConocoPhillips China was ordered to halt all operations at the oilfield in early September after failing to stop the leak, and CNOOC later estimated that output fell by 62,000 barrels per day as a result.

The statement said the U.S. firm's Chinese subsidiary, which owns 49-percent of the well, would alone be liable to pay 1.09 billion yuan to compensate for damage done to the region's marine ecology following the spill.

ConocoPhillips China will pay an additional 113 million yuan to protect the environment of the Bohai Bay, while CNOOC will pay 480 million yuan.

(Reporting by Judy Hua and David Stanway. editing by William Hardy)

Smoke is released into the sky at the ConocoPhillips oil refinery in San Pedro, California March 24, 2012. REUTERS/Bret Hartman