Singapore Port Authority Conducts Oil Spill Exercise
JOSE 2008 involved a scenario where a very large crude carrier (VLCC), ‘Moon Shadow’ (299,999 dwt), carrying 290,000 tons of light crude oil, was hit by an oil tanker MT (motor tanker), ‘Sun Explorer’ (8,722 dwt), carrying 7,700 tons of marine fuel oil. At that time, the VLCC was leaving the traffic separation scheme to discharge its cargo at Shell SBM. After the collision, the VLCC suffered severe damage to two of its cargo tanks containing 32,310 tons of crude each, while the oil tanker’s bow was damaged. The VLCC leaked around 8,000 tons of crude into the sea, causing potential threat to the environment. The ship master of the VLCC immediately reported the incident to MPA’s Marine Safety Control Centre and requested assistance.
The first response craft arrived within 30 minutes. This was immediately followed by a Hercules aircraft equipped with an aerial spray system, introduced this year to provide a swift and efficient response to a large spill with higher treatment rate than previous exercises. This is in addition to the sprays from dispersant boats and oil containment booms deployed around the VLCC as well as further downstream.
JOSE 2008 saw close cooperation among MPA, Shell Eastern Petroleum Pte Ltd, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the Police Coast Guard (PCG), the Agri-Food Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), the National Environment Agency (NEA), the National Parks Board, oil spill response companies, and six oil terminals. The exercise was observed by international participants of the Singapore International Bunkering Conference (SIBCON 2008), held from 15 to 17 October, at Shangri-La Hotel.
JOSE 2008 also involved a tabletop incident management exercise at MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre 2 (POCC2) at PSA Vista. The aircraft used at the exercise was sponsored by Shell Eastern Petroleum Pte Ltd, ExxonMobil Marine Fuels, Prosper Marine Service Pte Ltd and Oil Spill Response and East Asia Response Limited (OSRLEARL).
In this exercise, no crew member was injured. Both ships were also not in danger of sinking. The VLCC dropped anchor inside the port, while the oil tanker proceeded to Raffles Reserved Anchorage.