Crude oil leak contained in Guangdong

Updated: 2013-01-15 03:28

By Jin Haixing in Beijing and Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou (China Daily)

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A crude oil leak in Guangdong province has been contained and clean-up operations will be completed on Tuesday morning, local authorities said.

The leak occurred at 3:40 pm on Sunday in an oil pipe in Zhanjiang's Mazhang district, the local government said.

The burst pipe is part of the Zhanjiang-Maoming oil pipeline owned by Maoming Petrochemical, a subsidiary of Sinopec.

More than 15 tons of crude oil leaked into the Nanxi River, and the source of the leak was about 350 meters from the Chikan Reservoir, an alternate source for drinking water in Zhanjiang.

The Zhanjiang government said on Monday the leak has been contained and drinking water in the city is not contaminated.

More than 300 police officers and 18 firefighting vehicles were sent to control the leak, Zhanjiang Public Security Bureau said on its micro blog on Monday.

A rescue team, including five firefighting vehicles from Maoming Petrochemical, also went to the scene.

Transport authorities blocked roads to ensure safety, but traffic was back to normal by 1 pm on Monday, according to a statement by the Zhanjiang government.

Five monitoring spots were set up by the Zhanjiang Environmental Monitoring Station to collect water from the Chikan Reservoir every two hours. Data from the station shows the reservoir's water quality is safe.

More than 11,000 people from nine villages in Mazhang and Chikan districts were affected by the leak, and a special work team was set up to help them, authorities said.

Investigation showed the leak was caused by a burst section of pipe, which had corroded after being underground for more than 10 years, Guangzhou Daily reported.

"We check the pipeline every year, but because it is about 100 km long it is difficult to find problems with pipes in some areas," said Dong Zhangyu, publicity chief for Maoming Petrochemical.

But Dong said that following the leak the company will check all of the pipeline and improve repair work.

Dong declined to disclose the economic losses caused by the leak.

With a total length of 115 km, the pipeline starts at Gangyou Dock in Zhanjiang, a coastal city, and ends at a plant in Maoming.

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