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Oil spills off northeast coast decreased water quality in broader

A negative effect on water quality China's maritime authorities said Tuesday that two oil spills that occurred near the country's northeastern coast last month have had a negative effect on water quality in a "broad sea area" in addition to seriously polluting 840 square km of sea area.An area of 3,400 square km in China's Bohai Bay has been affected by the spills, with the area's water quality rating slipping from level I to levels III and IV, the North China Sea Branch of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) announced Tuesday in a press release.The oil spills, which occurred in the bay's Penglai 19-3 oilfield, have also seriously polluted 840 km of sea area in the bay, sending water quality ratings in the area to their lowest level. Spilled oil has been detected in sediment samples taken from areas near the oilfield, according to the press release.The oilfield is home to oil platforms operated by ConocoPhillips China (COPC), a subsidiary of U.S. energy giant ConocoPhillips, under a joint development agreement with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the country's largest offshore oil producer.While the COPC said last week that the oil spills have been contained and that clean-up efforts ...

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