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China oil spill hits the headlines

China’s largest ever oil spill hit the headlines at the weekend again after a blaze at the oil spill site brought the disaster back into public view.

The spill at Xingang port, Dalian, in July was largely overshadowed at the time by the enormity of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Greenpeace put the figure of oil spilled in Dalian between 60,000 and 90,000 tonnes, a significant amount.

The spill cleanup operation in the port is ongoing and the knock on effects of the oil has hit the local fishing village and the economy hard. And with no damages awarded to any of the affected parties, it remains to be seen how long the recovery will take. The pipelines at the oil tank field and oil tanks themselves are run by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) which is state owned. However even though an investigation was conducted into the spill at the time of the event which pointed the finger at human error, the CNPC has not been fined.

The latest blast is an indication that much needs to be done to improve safety standards and put spill control practices in place so future spills can be contained.

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