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Energy giant ConocoPhillips is being pressured to apologize to the Chinese public for an oil leak from an offshore drilling platform in China's northwest. Local fishermen say more marine life are dying.
Chinese authorities are blaming an oil leak of ConocoPhillips for thousands of fish and other marine life dying in China's Bohai Bay.
They are pressing the US energy giant to apologize to the public for delays in patching the leak, state owned media reported. China's own oil and gas producer, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, is a joint venture partner in the operation.
The oil leak from the Penglai 19-3 oil field was first reported in June. State media have since reported contaminated fishing nets and oil covered marine life on the beach of North Changshan Island and other areas nearby.
Fish and scallop farmers say their marine products have been dying.
[Changqin Island Fisherman]:
"In the past, not a single fish would die in about a dozen days. However, this year about one kilogram of fish died in just one day. It is very difficult to raise fish now because they just keep dying."
However there is some doubt over the cause of the deaths. Some fishermen are saying marine life started dying more frequently in April and May before the oil leak started.
China's State Oceanic Administration has also given vastly differing accounts of the area affected. According to their latest figures the spill polluted 460 square miles, but earlier they had reported 1,500 square miles—without explaining the discrepancy.