CNOOC shares fall after shutdown of oilfield hits output

Kasmira Jefford
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CHINA’s largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas CNOOC was hit by its biggest share price fall in a month yesterday after an oil leak at one of its major oilfields forced the company to cut its output estimates.

Chinese authorities ordered CNOOC last week to suspend all operations at its PL19-3 field in the northern Bohai Bay, co-owned and operated by ConocoPhillips, because the American firm had failed to seal a leak after more than two months.

CNOOC said the shutdown will cut the company’s oil production by 62,000 barrels per day, sending shares in the blue chip oil producer down by 8.9 per cent to $13.84 on the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday.

The spill off the coast of China has released about 3,200 barrels of oil and fluids into the water since June and is the biggest leak from an offshore rig ever reported in China.

China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said last week that intends to sue ConocoPhillips for the environmental damage caused by the spill.