Oil Spill News

24 Mar 2020

31 Years Ago Today: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

© MelissaMN/AdobeStock

On March 24. 1989, the single-hull tanker Exxon Valdez was departing the Port of Valdez, Alaska with a full load of North Slope crude oil (approximately 1.26 million barrels) destined for Long Beach when it grounded on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound. The resulting oil spill (approximately 258,000 barrels), while not the largest in US history, was clearly the most important. It engendered much litigation. Public concern over the spill led directly to enactment of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90)…

18 Mar 2020

Port of Callao to Install Wärtsilä VTS

Traffic safety will be enhanced with the installation of Wärtsilä’s VTS in the busy Peruvian port of Callao. Copyright: Dmitrii Vinogradov

Wärtsilä said it will install its Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) solution at Peru's main harbor, one of Latin America’s most important ports.Dense fog and haze are a consistent challenge for Callao’s port operations, often making shipping conditions dangerous. Wärtsilä said its VTS solution will provide the technology needed to ensure uninterrupted port operations, while increasing safety levels and facilitating arrival, docking and departures for visiting ships.The technologies to be deployed by Wärtsilä includes solid-state IALA Advanced radar…

18 Mar 2020

Today in Maritime History: Grounding of the Supertanker Torrey Canyon

On the world stage, the grounding of the supertanker TORREY CANYON on Pollard’s Rock in the Seven Stones reef between Cornwall and the Scilly Isles is more significant than the 1989 EXXON VALDEZ oil spill. The TORREY CANYON was one of the first tankers large enough (120,000 tons capacity) to be designated a supertanker. It was also the first loaded supertanker to spill its entire cargo. After salvage efforts failed and the oil flow increased, the British Government decided to bomb the ship in an attempt to burn the oil. This was a radical decision because the wreck was outside the three-mile territorial sea limit prevalent at that time. The Royal Air Force had difficulty hitting the ship, so the Royal Navy sent its planes in.

27 Feb 2020

SCHOTTEL Equips Six Polish Navy Tugs

Image: SCHOTTEL

Bolko, the first of a total of six multi-role tugs built by Remontowa Shipyard in Poland has recently been delivered to the Polish Navy. Further five tugs – Gniewko, Mieszko, Semko, Leszko and Przemko – are scheduled for delivery in the near future. Each of the ASD tugs is equipped with two SCHOTTEL Rudderpropellers type SRP 360 FP. They will be used for military and logistic operations support at sea and in ports.The propulsion system of the Navy tugs consists of two ice-classed SCHOTTEL Rudderpropellers type SRP 360 with 2.0 m fixed pitch propellers.

19 Feb 2020

Measuring the Hostile Ocean Beneath Hurricanes

Fig.1: A Slocum glider from Teledyne Webb Research, en route to deployment. Credit: Rutgers University.

Unmanned Vehicles Collect Data for Improving Storm ForecastsThe influences of ocean conditions and currents on living environments are now more widely appreciated—from the Earth’s climate and severe weather conditions to fisheries and biodiversity. Sustained and widespread measurements are needed to provide essential clues for understanding the oceans, for effective monitoring of environmental changes, and for helping to clarify the long-term effects of global warming.To meet this challenge, ocean researchers have invented various types of unmanned observing platforms.

12 Feb 2020

Schottel Propulsion for Chinese Harbor Tug

Photo: SCHOTTEL

Schottel won a contract to provide propulsion units for a new harbor tug under construction at Tongfang Jiangxin Shipbuilding in China. Ordered by the Taizhou Maritime Safety Administration, it will be equipped with SCHOTTEL Rudderpropellers type SRP 430. Each of the azimuth thrusters will be driven by a 1,920 kW diesel engine at 750 rpm. This configuration aims to provide an expected bollard pull of 60 tonnes and a free running speed of approximately 13 knots.The 45 x 12.6m tug is built primarily for vessel rescue and pollution prevention near shore as well as for towing operations.

04 Feb 2020

Vessel Safety: US House Subcommittee Seeks Faster Implementation

The diving boat Conception burns off the coast of Santa Cruz island on September 2, 2019. (Photo released by the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office)

In November the U.S. House of Representatives’ Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee held a hearing on “Commercial and Passenger Vessel Safety: Challenges and Opportunities.” Testimony covered a range of issues, from recent tragedies such as the Conception dive-boat disaster to antiquated maritime laws.Hearing witness list:Rear Admiral Richard V. Timme, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, United States Coast GuardThe Honorable Richard Balzano…

16 Jan 2020

Search Called Off for Two Missing After Ship Collision

The stern of Pappy's Pride appears above the waterline beside the vessel's inflatable life raft after a collision with chemical tanker Bow Fortune in Galveston, Texas. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Galveston)

Responders have called off a search for two fisherman missing following a fatal ship collision near Galveston, Texas, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday.One crew member has been rescued, one is deceased and two remain missing at the conclusion of a three-day search involving the Coast Guard and local responders that covered more than 49 square miles by aerial flights, shore patrols and maritime searches.“It is never an easy decision to suspend a search," said Cmdr. Jordan Baldueza, Sector Houston-Galveston search and rescue mission coordinator.

31 Dec 2019

Brazilian Beaches Hit by Second Oil Spill

© Arun Roisri / Adobe Stock

Crude oil smudges have been spotted at some Brazilian beaches in the northeast state of Ceará, the country's navy said on Monday, almost two months after the area was hit by another oil slick.That was part of a broader spill, whose origin remains a mystery, that stained hundreds of beaches on Brazil's northeast coast between September and November, threatening marine life, tourism and fishing.The navy said samples of the new spill were being sent for analysis to a marine studies institute…

27 Nov 2019

Viet Nam Readies for Oil Spill Contingency

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Work is underway to further develop Viet Nam’s national oil spill contingency plan at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, this week (26-29 November).Forty participants from across 10 government departments and the oil and gas and shipping industry are taking part in the workshop, which is the latest in a series of International Maritime Organization (IMO)-assisted events on oil spill contingency in South-East Asia.Participants are being introduced to international good practices…

26 Nov 2019

TrashTech: Trash Trawl Debuts

Trash Trawl in operation in the Akers river in Oslo.

New system helping to solve garbage problems in rivers by collecting waste from water surface. SpillTech, aNorwegian company which specializes in oil spill recovery equipment and systems to collect waste in ports, is expanding its services to tackle waste pollution issues in rivers.“Many rivers are becoming increasingly polluted, so it is important to collect as much waste as possible and that is the reason why we have developed a new waste collector system,” reasoned Trond Lindheim…

18 Nov 2019

Shell: Spill Contained at Puget Sound Refinery Dock

An oil spill was contained at the Shell Puget Sound, Washington refinery's dock on Fidalgo Bay late on Friday, the company said in a statement on Saturday.The source of the crude spill was identified as a pressure relief valve on a barge and the source was secured, the company said, adding the spill volume was yet to be determined.About 20 gallons of oil was spilled when crews were transferring nearly five million gallons of oil from the barge to the refinery, local media reports said.Reporting by Sumita Layek

15 Nov 2019

OSV Collides With Tug Near Port Arthur

An estimate of 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel has been spilled as the result of a collision between an offshore supply vessel (OSV) and a tug near Port Arthur Texas, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Friday.The Coast Guard said it is responding to the incidenct after its watchstanders at Sector Houston-Galveston received a report of a collision involving the OSV Cheramie Botruc 22 and tug vessel Mariya Moran near the entrance to Sabine Pass, Texas, Thursday morning.Personnel from Coast Guard Station Sabine, Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur, Texas General Land Office, Oil Spill Removal Organization, OMI Environmental Solutions and…

13 Nov 2019

Three New Damen FCS Patrol Vessels for SR Platforms

Photo: Damen

In one week Damen Shipyards Group has launched an FCS 3007 Patrol vessel and, in cooperation with the same owner, SR Platforms, successfully completed the sea trials of two FCS 4008 Patrol vessels. This brings the number of Damen ships in SR Platforms’ fleet up to four, following the delivery of its first FCS 3307 Patrol in October 2015.These milestones follow the contract signings taking place just a few months earlier, with those for the FCS 4008 vessels occurring in July this year and that for the FCS 3007 at the beginning of April.

04 Nov 2019

ITOPF Addresses Brazil Oil Pollution

Pic: ITOPF

The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) is currently on-site in north-east Brazil attending the recent oil spill that has contaminated approximately 2,500 km of coastline in nine states.The source of the pollution remains unknown, although the Brazilian government has recently reported that they suspect a tanker passing along its coast in late July as being the polluter."Our involvement was requested directly by IBAMA, the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources…

01 Nov 2019

Brazil Targets Greek Tanker in Pollution Probe

BOUBOULINA / CREDIT: MarineTraffic.Com / © Leo Noordzij

Brazilian investigators said on Friday a Greek-flagged ship carrying Venezuelan crude was the source of oil tarring thousands of kilometers of coastline over the past two months.While prosecutors and police did not name the vessel, a prosecutors' document obtained by Reuters identified the ship as the Bouboulina, owned by Greece's Delta Tankers Ltd. Police said the tanker appears to have spilled the crude about 700 km (420 miles) off Brazil's coast between July 28-29, bound for…

01 Nov 2019

Brazil Federal Police Investigate Greek Ship in Connection with Oil Spill

Brazil's federal police on Friday announced a potential breakthrough in the investigation into the causes of a mysterious oil spill that has baffled authorities and Brazilians for about two months.Police said they were investigating a Greek-flagged ship allegedly responsible for the oil spill, which they claim may have occurred about 700 km (420 miles) off the Brazilian coast between July 28-29 after the vessel made a stop in Venezuela.In a statement, federal police said they were carrying out search warrants at addresses linked to a company of Greek nationality.Brazilian authorities said they had also requested cooperation from international agencies…

25 Oct 2019

RECSO Hosts First Global Oil Spill conference

AbdulAziz Somali and Majed Saber from Saudi Aramco’s Marine Department brief visitors. Photo: Saudi Aramco

The Regional Clean Sea Organization (RECSO), an oil industry co-operative organisation in the Middle East, has hosted First RECSO Enviro Spill Conference and Exhibition.In delivering the keynote speech at the opening ceremony, Abdulhakim A. Al-Gouhi, vice president of Industrial Services with Saudi Aramco, called on members to collaborate to protect the pristine Gulf environment through prevention, preparedness, and response.“We come together to demonstrate our unlimited commitment toward protecting the marine environment from any harmful effects of pollution…

21 Oct 2019

CAA Welcomes MSC 's Shelving Arctic Routes

Dr Sian Prior. Photo: Clean Arctic Alliance

Clean Arctic Alliance has welcome MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company's decision to avoid Arctic shipping route as a new short cut between northern Europe and Asia.Clean Arctic Alliance lead advisor Dr Sian Prior was responding to the announcement that shipping company MSC “will not explore or use the Northern Sea Route between Europe and Asia for container shipping” and that it believes that shipping lines should focus on reducing the environmental impact of existing shipping…

17 Oct 2019

MOL Intros AR Navigation System

Pic: MOL

Japanese transportation major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced that, along with Furuno Electric, it made a joint presentation of their advanced augmented reality (AR)-based Navigation System.The presentation introduced the background behind the technology and development of the system, as well as MOL’s efforts to "forge ahead to become the world leader in safe operation."The AR Navigation System provides visual support to crew-members during their watch-keeping and ship operations by using AR technology to superimpose real-time video imagery and voyage information.Large tankers…

14 Oct 2019

SPII Holdings Finalizes Acquisition of DryShips

File Photo: DryShips

The shareholders of the dry bulk shipping company based in Athens, Greece, DryShips,  voted in favor of the proposal to authorize and approve the previously announced agreement and plan of merger with SPII Holdings.SPII, a company controlled by DryShips’ chairman and CEO, George Economou, would acquire the outstanding shares of common stock, USD 0.01 par value, of the company that it does not already own for USD 5.25 per share in cash, without interest.In connection with the completion of the transaction…

10 Oct 2019

Autonomous Ships, Opportunities & Challenges

Image: DNV GL

Maritime autonomous surface ship (“MASS”) technology continues to advance at a rapid pace around the globe. Although it’s not being embraced as quickly in the United States commercial market as other parts of the world, U.S. industry professionals and regulators look forward to continued development and implementation as a means to improve efficiency and safety.OpportunitiesThe U.S. Maritime Administration (“MARAD”) hosted “Achieving Critical MASS: Spotlight on the U.S. Vessel Automation Industry” July 22 and 23, 2019, encouraging discussion between U.S.

14 Oct 2019

INSIGHTS: Michael G. Johnson

Michael G. johnson, Sea Machines CEO & President

Sea Machines Robotics CEO & President.Michael Gordon Johnson is a marine engineer, an accomplished entrepreneur and sector leader with a primary goal of building progressive and sustainable innovation for modern society. He is the founder of Sea Machines, a Boston-based tech company that is a leading provider of autonomous control and intelligent perception systems for marine vessels. Johnson earned a marine engineering degree from Texas A&M University before starting a career focused on complex projects in offshore oil and gas, marine transportation and salvage.

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