China - China said on Monday an oil spill on the northeast coast had been successfully controlled as reports said operations at the port where it originated were returning to normal.
The spill began 10 days ago when two pipelines exploded at an oil storage depot in Dalian, a port city in Liaoning province, triggering a spectacular blaze that burned for days.
About 1 500 tonnes of oil poured into the Yellow Sea, according to official estimates.
"So far, large pieces of the pollutant have been successfully removed or controlled," said Chen Aiping, executive deputy director of the Maritime Safety Administration, according to a statement posted on the ministry's website.
Official estimates say the spill covers over 435 square kilometres of water but one Chinese media report last week said the slick had spread to 946 square kilometres.
By Sunday afternoon, 41 oil-skimming vessels and 1 200 fishing boats had been mobilised to contain the spill, the maritime agency's statement said.
Dalian mayor Li Wancai said the battle to contain the oil spill had achieved a "decisive victory", the state-run Dalian Daily reported.
Oil sludge in the sea has mostly been cleaned and the spill has not spread to international waters, the report said.
Speaking on Sunday, Li urged crews to focus on cleaning the coastline to prevent residual oil from being washed back into the sea, it said.
Dalian authorities shut down some maritime traffic following the spill, but operations at many berths have gradually resumed.
A Greenpeace activist monitoring the spill, Zhong Yu, last week told AFP clean-up crews seemed ill-equipped for the effort, with many using only their bare hands and lacking even basic equipment.
The Dalian Port (PDA) Company Limited said in a statement on Sunday that two of its three oil berths affected by the accident have resumed operations, with the last one expected to return to normal imminently.
The pipelines that exploded belonged to China National Petroleum Corp, the country's largest oil company.
Dalian is a major petroleum distribution port and the accident triggered fears of an impact on oil supply movements.
The China Business News on Monday cited a manager of a cleaning company working on the site as estimating that the clean-up efforts could cost more than one billion yuan.
The manager, identified only by his surname Yang, added that it may take another week to clean up the spill.