China Sues ConocoPhillips Over Oil Spill
In June, ConocoPhillips was responsible for 3,200 barrels of oil and drilling fluids spilling into China’s largest offshore oil field, Pengai 19-3, in the Bohai Bay. The spill spread over 324 square miles. Now, the Chinese maritime authority is seeking damages, and suing ConocoPhillips for the spill.
China’s State Oceanic Administration is setting up a team of lawyers, to be ready by the end of the month, to sue for compensation. Apparently 49 Chinese law firms applied for the coveted opportunity to go after such a high profile multinational.
The Pengai field was codeveloped by both China National Offshore Oil Corporation (Cnooc) and ConocoPhillips, who serves as oprator.
Chinese citizens are expressing outrage at both ConocoPhillips and the Chinese government for not taking more action nor disseminating the facts of the spill to the public more openly. What’s worse, PetroChina’s activities in the region led to a similar spill just one year earlier at a port facility in the nearby city of Dalian. Oil from the most recent spills has reportedly been washing up on beaches in the nearby provinces of Hebei and Liaoning. Locals blame the spills for a slowdown in local tourism and negatively affecting aquatic farming industries.
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“As far as compensation goes, we will listen to any requests and follow Chinese law, but we have not received any notification of claims,” says ConocoPhillips spokesman John Roper. “Cleanup efforts are going very well. We are more than 95 percent finished with the cleanup of mineral oil-based drilling mud, and expect to reach our target of being 100 percent by the end of August.”
“If Cnooc is ruled to pay any form of compensation, we will certainly fulfill our commitment and do the right thing,” adds Cnooc chairman Wang Yilin. “Cnooc is a responsible company and we honor our long-term commitment to the country, people and the environment.”
China is reportedly going about legal proceedings for the case very carefully. While the country wishes to set a precedent to show that foreigners doing business in China must comply with Chinese law, they are also hesitant to act too harshly and scare away foreign energy investment. It will be interesting to note how this all plays out over the next several months.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.