Tug To Reach Tanker By Friday

Thursday, March 22, 2001
A tugboat sent to rescue an oil tanker drifting off Bermuda should reach the ship by Friday night, BP Amoco said. "The boat is expected to keep clear of land and shipping lanes until the tugboat arrives," said a BP spokesman, adding the tug was due Friday around 9:00 p.m. local time (8:00 p.m. EST/Saturday 0100 GMT). The tanker, the British Valour, which had been Texas-bound with 300,000 tons (2.2 million barrels) of crude oil, has been floating at the mercy of the winds after an engine explosion Sunday. "Ship and crew are doing well. There have been no injuries and no oil spill," the spokesman said. The rescue by Delaware tugboat, Powhatan, which is carrying equipment and mechanics who will attempt to fix the tanker's engine at sea, was initially due on Wednesday but was delayed by bad weather. Officials have said that if the engine cannot be repaired, the tug will be used to bring the ship to port. The British Valour was chartered by Norwegian state oil company Statoil and left Norway last week destined for Freetown, Texas. Oil market traders said the Norwegian oil was rumored to be Oseberg crude slated to be delivered against futures commitments on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) in Cushing, Ok. - (Reuters)

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