BEIJING — The Chinese subsidiary of ConocoPhillips can resume operations at an oil field off the coast of northeastern China that was closed in 2011 after two oil spills, a regulator said.
Conoco and its subsidiary, ConocoPhillips China Inc., came under intense media criticism in China following the spills, which drained into the Bohai Sea and its bay.
The State Oceanic Administration said in a statement Saturday that conditions at the Penglai 19-3 oilfield had returned to normal after a series of rectification measures, and that ConocoPhillips could gradually resume production there.
China’s largest oil field is jointly owned by Houston-based ConocoPhillips’ Chinese subsidiary and China National Offshore Oil Corp., China’s main offshore oil and gas producer.
The two spills occurred in June 2011. Combined, they released more than 30,300 gallons of oil, or 723 barrels, and more than 110,000 gallons of mineral oil-based drilling mud, which is used as a lubricant for drilling.
The company said the first spill resulted from a natural fault in the oil reservoir. The second spill was due to a high-pressure zone that was encountered while drilling a well.