Oil Spill: 83,000 Gallons Leak Into Bohai Bay, China
Big Oil has a shameful history. That’s why in this series we are highlighting some of its most recent disastrous oil spills and raising awareness of the devastation that will occur if the industry is allowed to drill in the Arctic and off our coasts. Join us in the effort to protect our special places from drilling!
Two separate incidents occurred in the Peng-Lai 19-3 oil field in Bohai Bay, China on July 4th and 17th, 2011. The first incident of seepage occurred along a natural fault line near the ConocoPhillips platform B. A containment device was put in place to stop the seep, and although a few liters of oil still slip through each day, there are booms in place to collect it as it rises to the surface. The second incident occurred near platform C during drilling operations. Oil and gas bubbles were seen on the surface about 2 miles from the seabed seep near platform B. This was the result of a suspected well blowout, and was capped 48 hours after the initial release. The well was cemented and between both incidents, 83,000 gallons of oil were released into Bohai Bay.
An oil slick of 336 square miles covered the surrounding area, polluting the waters and fisheries that the community relies on for income. The oil is toxic to to marine life, and contains heavy metals. Once the crude oil mixes in with the ocean, the water becomes toxic and greatly impacts the growth of marine life that grow on the sea floor, such as clams, scallops and some species of crab. Another environmental impact of the oil spill can be seen in the long stretches of rotting fish and dead seaweed along the shore line, fanning out for miles from the point of origin.