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Court Accepts Fishermen's Compensation Claims

CHINA - A maritime court in the northern coastal city of Tianjin has accepted a case of compensation claims from aquaculture farmers who believe the oil leaked from the ConocoPhillips-operated oil platforms in Bohai Sea resulted in their businesses losses.

Xinhua reporters learned the news from the Tianjin Maritime Court.

US energy giant ConocoPhillips last week promised to issue compensation for damages caused by the oil spill near platforms B and C of the Penglai 19-3 oil field in Bohai Bay, but offered no details.

Earlier this month, over 100 fishermen from Hebei province filed a lawsuit against ConocoPhillips China, saying the oil spill killed many of their clams and sea cucumbers. They sought 490 million yuan (around $77.78 million) in damages.

The oil spill had polluted over 6,200 square km of water in the bay, an area about nine times the size of Singapore, since June when it was first reported, according to an investigation report unveiled November.

The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said last month that operations in the Penglai 19-3 oil field were in violation of the region's development plan and there were shortcomings in ConocoPhillips China's management system.

Lucy Towers

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