A ConocoPhillips platform in Bohai Bay. Image courtesy of ConocoPhillips.

China’s CNOOC and ConocoPhillips are being sued by a group of 21 Chinese firms for damages stemming from two 2011 oil spills at the Peng Lai 19-3 oilfield in offshore China.

The spills poured about 700 barrels of oil and 2,500 barrels of oil based drilling mud into China’s Bohai Bay, affecting about 2,393 square miles of water.

The suit, filed in China, claims CNOOC and ConocoPhillips did not promptly inform aquaculture farmers about the incident and caused the farmers to use contaminated water at their farms.

Most of the farmers specialized in growing sea cucumbers, a type of sea slug that is a delicacy in China.

The 21 firms are seeking $22.8 million in compensation.

Houston-based ConocoPhillips claimed the farmers were not certified for seafood farming and argued the requested compensation payment was too large, Energy Voice said.

In 2012, CNOOC and ConocoPhillips were ordered to pay $272 million in damages for the spills by China’s State Oceanic Administration.

The two companies also reached a settlement with China’s Ministry of Agriculture to pay $160 million for oil spills in the northern part of Bohai Bay.

Production at Peng Lai 19-3 was suspended in 2001 and resumed in 2013.

The field is currently producing 160,000 barrels per day.

CNOOC holds a 51 percent stake in the Peng Lai 19-3 field.

ConocoPhillips holds a 49 percent operating stake in the field.


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