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Pattaya Daily News

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26 May 2010 :: 14:05:39 pm 22233

Tanker Collision Causes Singapore Strait Oil Spill Nightmare

An oil tanker and heavy bulk carrier have been involved in a major collision in the Malacca Straits off the coast of Singapore on Tuesday. The accident has caused and estimated 14,600 barrels of light crude oil to spill into the ocean after a 10-meter gash was opened up in the oil tanker as a result of the collision.
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Singapore, the 25th of May 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: At present the spill is being contained by emergency oil-spill response vessels from Singapore and Malaysia. The emergency response teams, consisting of 20 vessels, have been rapidly spreading oil dispersants on the spill and have surrounded the area with oil retaining booms in continued efforts to prevent the oil from reaching the coastline.

The Malaysian flagged MT Bunga Kelana 3, an Aframax tanker, had been carrying approximately 62,000 tonnes of light crude oil when it was stuck by the St. Vincent & the Grenadines flagged tanker MV Waily, a bulk carrier. The collision caused a 10-meter wide gash to open on the side of the Bunga Kelana 3, from which approximately 14,600 barrels or 2,000 tonnes of light crude oil has leaked into the ocean. The MV Waily reportedly only suffered minor damage in the incident whilst both vessels are currently anchored in the Singapore Strait due to continuing investigations.

The incident happened in the Malacca Strait, approximately 6 kilometers South of Singapore’s south-eastern tip, in the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) of the Singapore Strait. Approximately 40% of global shipping trade passes through the Malacca Strait between Malaysia and Indonesia whilst Singapore is currently the world’s largest bunkering port and Asia’s top oil-trading hub. Shipping lanes and traffic are believed to unaffected by the 4 kilometer radius oil spill.

Although major, this most recent oil spill of 14,600 barrels is positively dwarfed in comparison with the current situation in the Gulf of Mexico, where over 175,000 barrels of oil is estimated to have been released into the ocean following the explosion and subsequent sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April. The continuing crisis off the coast of Louisiana in the United States is expected to be leaking up to 5,000 barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day with no solutions to the situations evident at present.

Mr. Victor Shum from the oil consultancy firm Purvin & Gertz in Singapore revealed that, “This is a relatively small amount in the general scheme of things, and it is not like the Gulf of Mexico, which is continuing to leak. If it is contained within an oil retaining booms, it may not disrupt shipping traffic. There is no comparison (with BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico). That one has really no limit at this stage.”

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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