A huge oil spill off the Chinese coast has now contaminated an area around six times the size of Singapore, state media reported on Friday, as the government said it may seek compensation for the leak.
The spill from the oil field, which the United States’ ConocoPhillips operates with China’s state-run oil giant CNOOC, has polluted a total area of almost 4,250 sq km (1,650 square miles), government figures showed.
The figures, which were announced on the State Oceanic Administration website earlier this week but only reported on Friday, were almost five times the size of the 840-square-kilometre area previously reported.
The administration says that area remains worst affected by the spill, but that another 3,400 sq km have also been contaminated to a lesser degree by the oil.
State media said the government was considering seeking compensation from ConocoPhillips over the spill. ‘We have made an initial plan to claim compensation from ConocoPhillips China,’ the business daily 21st Century Business Herald quoted an unnamed official from the State Oceanic Administration as saying. ‘But whether and how it will be implemented still depends on the status of plugging the leak.’