Chinese Eco Group Files Landmark Marine Pollution Lawsuit

A Chinese non-profit organisation has filed a landmark lawsuit at Qingdao Maritime Court against US oil major ConocoPhillips and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Ltd for the 2011 oil spill in Bohai Bai.

The lawsuit filed by the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation requires the defendants to take responsibility for the series of oil spills that began at Penglai 19-3 oilfield on June 4, 2011, and ultimately affected over 6,200 square kilometers of water.

This lawsuit is the first public interest litigation filed by a non-profit organization in relation to marine pollution.

The oil field is 51% owned by CNOOC, and 49% owned by ConocoPhillips.

The incidents resulted in approximately 723 barrels (115 cubic meters) of oil and 2,620 barrels (416 cubic meters) of mineral oil-based drilling mud seeping into Bohai Bay.

In 2012, the companies were ordered to pay an aggregate amount of RMB 1.683 billion (USD 266.7 million) to compensate for the marine ecological damage caused by the oil spill accident.

Penglai 19-3 oilfield was cleared to resume production in February 2013.

World Maritime News Staff