Published: Wednesday 15 November 2000

In order to preserve the marine environment, the Chinese government has decided to safely dispose old or damaged equipment used during offshore oil and gas exploration projects. The country plans to collaborate with other countries to find better solutions to save marine life. "This is being done so that a balanced economic, social and environmental development of the Asia-Pacific region is possible," said Chen Lianzeng, deputy director of the state oceanography bureau.

At least 25 offshore oil and gas fields are operating along China's 18,000-kilometre coastline. As part of its campaign to save the environment, the government has revised and promulgated the State Marine Environment Protection Law and a number of other regulations on environmental protection while undertaking oil exploration projects. All the offshore oil platforms have been equipped with oil waste and spillage treatment facilities. China has also taken other measures to prevent pollution of the sea caused by drilling wells and ships.

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