Pipeline Repaired as China Works to Contain Spill

Associated Press reports on the clean-up progress of the major oil spill:

China National Corp. said Thursday that the pipeline that exploded and caused the oil spill last Friday had resumed operations. The blast had reduced oil shipments from part of China’s strategic oil reserves to the rest of the country. The cause of the explosion that started the spill was still not clear.

The company, Asia’s biggest oil-and-gas producer by volume, also said more than 400 tons of oil had been cleaned up by 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to a posting on its website.

The environmental group Greenpeace China released photos Thursday of local fishermen cleaning up oily sludge at Weitang Bay with shovels, and of an employee scooping up dead snails at Guotai Water Products Farm, about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from the site of the explosion and spill.

“Dalian’s seafood farming and tourism industries have taken critical hits,” Greenpeace China said in a statement. It estimated 10,000 shellfish farms have been contaminated.

The China Real Time Report blogs that microbes have joined the clean-up effort:

A Beijing-based biotechnology company is in the limelight for providing 23 tons of oil-eating bacteria to help clean up the 183-square-kilometer (114-square-mile) slick around China’s northern Dalian port, after two oil pipelines exploded there last week.

The company’s name, called Weiyeyuan in pinyin, is Beijing Micro-Cleaner Biotechnology Co. It’s young: An introduction on its website says it was founded just last year and that the company makes “environmentally friendly microbial products.”

A receptionist who answered the phone confirmed Weiyeyuan was providing the microbes, which she called “emergency leak treatment,” but said the person authorized to speak on the matter wasn’t available. Its Chinese-language website also included two news stories trumpeting its latest high-profile outing at Dalian.

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