ConocoPhillips to pay $191M for China oil spill

Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — ConocoPhillips said Monday that it will pay $191 million to a Chinese agency for the company's role in oil spills off northeastern China.

ConocoPhillips said the deal resolves all pending government claims related to the spill.

The payment by ConocoPhillips China Inc. includes $173 million to be paid over the next two years to the Chinese State Oceanic Administration, and $18 million toward social projects helping Bohai Bay.

The company said the initial programs will focus on improving marine environment protection and reducing pollutants in the bay.

ConocoPhillips said its partner, the China National Offshore Oil Corp., agreed to pay $76 million toward similar projects.

ConocoPhillips said it continues to work with CNOOC to meet government requirements to return the field to normal operation.

The June 2011 spills in the Bohai Sea covered about 2,500 square miles and brought ConocoPhillips, the operator of the Bohai field, intense media criticism in China.

In January the company and CNOOC reached a $160 million agreement with China's Ministry of Agriculture to settle compensation claims related to the spill.

ConocoPhillips, based in Houston, is one of the largest foreign investors in China's energy sector.

The company's shares fell 34 cents to $71.64 in afternoon trading.

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