Conoco Halts China Drilling

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U.S. oil giant ConocoPhillips has halted drilling at two platforms at the Penglai 19-3 field in China following leakage that seeped oil into Bohai Bay starting in June. ConocoPhillips estimates 1,500 to 2,000 barrels of oil have leaked from both sites, according to a statement issued by the company today.

Texas-based ConocoPhillips (COP), the third-largest U.S. oil company, said it is working with experts to validate the spill quantity and noted that no oil has reached Chinese shores and that no personnel have been injured. China's State Oceanic Administration (SOA) ordered the company to halt production at the platforms today.

The shut down will result in a temporary reduction of approximately 17,000 barrels of oil per day net after royalties to ConocoPhillips, the company said in a statement. Cnooc (CEO), China's largest offshore oil explorer, is Conoco's partner on the projects. The SOA order will be in effect until cleanup activities are finalized and no further spill risks are evident.

ConocoPhillips responded quickly to both events and mobilized extensive clean-up equipment, facilities and personnel, including substantial resources made available by Cnooc, the U.S. company said in its statement.

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