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State Oceanic Administration - Report of Joint Task Force on Peng Lai 19-3 Oilfield Accident

State Oceanic Administration - Report of Joint Task Force on Peng Lai 19-3 Oilfield Accident

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Published by George Conk
Report on Conoco Phillips Bohai Bay Spill State Oceanic Administration accident report - Peng lai oil field spill - 2011
Report on Conoco Phillips Bohai Bay Spill State Oceanic Administration accident report - Peng lai oil field spill - 2011

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Published by: George Conk on Oct 07, 2012
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Accident Investigation and Handling Report by the PL19-3 Oil Field Spill Joint Investigation Team
Source: State Oceanic Administration (SOA) Updated on: 06/21/2012 Print this Page Close Window
On June 4
and June 17
, 2011, two oil spills occurred in the PL19-3 oilfield. The relevant investigation andhandling of the accidents are as follows:
I. How the Accidents Happened and the Emergency Response1. General Information about the PL19-3 Oilfield
PL19-3 oilfield is located in Block 11/05 Contract Area of central-southern Bohai Bay, and in Tan-Lu fault zone of the northeast end of the middle section of the Bonan convex belt, 38°17'~38°27' N, 120°01'~120°08' E. Within thefield area, the average water depth is 27-33 meters. The oilfield was developed in two phases: in December 2002,Platform A of Phase I was put into production; from July 2007 to April 2011, Platforms B, C, D, E, F & M of PhaseII were put into production in sequence, among which Platform B in May 2008 and Platform C in July 2007.Currently, the oilfield has 193 production wells, 53 water injection wells and six cuttings re-injection wells. In 2010,oil production was 7.78 million tons. In May 2011, production of crude oil was 23,000 tons per day.In accordance with the contract, the oilfield is jointly explored and developed by the China National Offshore OilCorporation (hereinafter referred to as CNOOC) and ConocoPhillips China Inc. (hereinafter referred to as
) inthe form of Sino-foreign cooperative venture, with CNOOC holding 51% equity and
49%. The JointManagement Committee formed by both parties is responsible for reviewing and approving important mattersrelated to the development of the oil field.2. How the Incidents Happened and the Emergency ResponseAt about 7 pm on June 4
, 2011, the North Sea Branch of SOA received a call from COPC, the Operator of thePL19-3 Oilfield, reporting that a small trace of oil film of unknown source was found on the water surface nearnortheast of Platform B. The North Sea Branch immediately required COPC to respond rapidly and make internalexamination, and at the same time started emergency monitoring on the situation of the released oil. On June 12, oilfingerprinting results showed that the oil spill was from the PL19-3 oilfield, and the North Sea Branch immediately
Case 4:12-cv-01976 Document 12-1 Filed in TXSD on 09/24/12 Page 19 of 54
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initiated an emergency response. COPC took several measures on Platform B, including shutting down the injectionwells, conducting flow back to release the pressure, etc. On June 19
, the oil spill was basically under control.At 11:00 am on June 17
, China Maritime Surveillance Ship 22, during its emergency surveillance in PL19-3oilfield, spotted a large amount of oil spilled around Platform C and in nearby waters. It was then confirmed that awell overflow took place in Well C20 of Platform C, causing crude oil and oil-based mud to be released into the sea.On the same day, SOA had an emergency meeting with the main persons-in-charge from COPC and its partnerCNOOC, requiring COPC to take all effective measures to control the spill source and collect the spilled oil asquickly as possible. COPC immediately sealed Well C20 with cement, and deployed a large number of emergencyresponse personnel and equipment to fully recover and clean up the spilled oil. As a result, on June 21
, the oil spillwas basically brought under control. As of June 22
, floating oil had basically been cleaned up on the watersurfaces other than those near Platforms B and C.Due to the consideration that the oil spill had not been completely controlled, and the investigation and sealing of the spill sources was making slow progress, on July 13
, SOA decided to suspend production operations inPlatforms B and C. On July 20
, SOA ordered COPC to "thoroughly examine areas with spill risks and thoroughlyseal the oil spill sources" ("two completes") before August 31
. On August 18
, a Joint Investigation Team wasestablished, in which SOA took the lead. As of August 31
, COPC failed to meet the “two completes” set by thedepartment in charge. Besides, considering that poor production operations may continue to cause new formationdamage and oil spill risks, on September 2
, based on the views of the Joint Investigation Team, the entire PL19-3Field was ordered to implement the "three stops" (to stop injection, stop drilling and stop production), the "threecontinuances" (to continue to examine the areas with spill risks, continue to seal spill sources and continue to cleanup the spilled oil) and the "two adjustments" (to adjust the Overall Development Plan and adjust the marineenvironmental impact report).
II. An Overview of the Investigation and Handling of the Incidents
The CPC Central Committee and State Council attached great importance to the incidents, with Premier WenJiabao, Vice Premier Li Keqiang, Secretary Zhou Yongkang, Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, Vice Premier Zhang
Case 4:12-cv-01976 Document 12-1 Filed in TXSD on 09/24/12 Page 20 of 54
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Dejiang, State Councilor Ma Kai, etc. giving important instructions on many occasions. Premier Wen Jiabao andVice Premier Li Keqiang have separately chaired executive and thematic meetings of the State Council to study andhandle the oil spills.On August 18
, 2011, a Joint Investigation Team of the PL19-3 Oil Field Spill was established, in which SOA took the lead and Ministry of Land and Resources, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Ministry of Transport,Ministry of Agriculture, Administration of Work Safety, and National Energy Administration participated. Theteam is primarily responsible for a thorough investigation of the spill incidents in terms of the causes, nature,responsibilities, damages, etc. The Joint Investigation Team consists of integrated, technical and evaluation teams.Besides, 15 authoritative experts in geology, oil reservoir, drilling, environment, ecology and fisheries from variousChinese research institutes and large enterprises were invited to form an advisory group and participate in theinvestigation work.The Joint Investigation Team has a highly responsible attitude, acts in accordance with laws and truth andcooperates closely. It has held 12 plenary meetings, studied major issues, conducted field investigations in oil spillsites and platforms twice, listened to reports from COPC and CNOOC several times, and consulted a large numberof original records and related documents. Finally, it has identified the causes, nature, responsibilities and damagesof the incidents.
III. Causes, Nature and Responsibilities of the Incidents
1. Cause of the Oil Spill(1) Direct CausesRe: Oil spill near Platform B. On June 2
, when Well B23 experienced anomalies of significant increase in waterinjection amount and decrease in injection pressure, COPC did not suspend injection or determine the causes in atimely manner; instead, it maintained pressure and continued the water injection, resulting in high pressure in somewater injection zones and the opening of an existing geological fault. Upward flows formed along the fault andfinally an undersea oil spill occurred.
Case 4:12-cv-01976 Document 12-1 Filed in TXSD on 09/24/12 Page 21 of 54

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