Spill clean-up in full swing

by Hans | May 25th, 2010

CLEAN-UP efforts are in full swing, after an oil tanker collided with a bulk carrier off Singapore’s south-eastern coast on Tuesday morning.

The collision spilled 2,500 tonnes of crude oil into the sea, leading to a 4km by 1 km oil slick floating 6km from Changi East. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said 20 craft from the Singapore, Malaysian authorities and oil-spill response companies were involved in the clean-up operation.

They are equipped with dispersants that break the oil slick into smaller globules to aid biodegrading. Another 200 people are also on standby to help with the coastal clean-up, if the need arises.

Traffic in the Traffic Separation Scheme of the Singapore Strait – one of the world’s busiest shipping routes – was not affected, MPA added in a statement.

Reuters reported that the spill, equivalent to less than 15,000 barrels, is smaller than the about 175,000 barrels of oil that has poured into the Gulf of Mexico since April 20’s offshore explosion, which sank the Deepwater Horizon rig.

The worst oil spill to occur in Singapore waters since MPA’s formation was in 1997, when the tanker Evoikos collided with the Orapin Global tanker. Up to 29,000 tonnes of heavy marine fuel oil leaked into the waters – over 10 times more than the current spill. The 50 crew members were not injured.

Source: The Straits Times
By Koh Hui Theng

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