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Oil Spills Around the World

By: Phineas Gray
For : Ecospill
Category : Environment

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As shipping traffic around the world steadily increases, the interval between major spills seems set to increase.
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EZ Press Release  -- April 27, 2018 As shipping traffic around the world steadily increases, the interval between major spills seems set to increase. In particular, high traffic areas can face numerous dangers in the course of a day, with both collision, navigational, and weather-related dangers presenting themselves. And the South China Sea possesses all three.

It is very shallow, typically less than sixty metres. These shallow depths allow for the strong storms and cyclones that present themselves to whip up extremely short-interval seas, which are tough on ships that have been built for the longer swells of the ocean. And of course, it is boom time in China, and there is an amazing amount of shipping traffic moving through their coastal ports.

The Sanchi had left Iran in late 2017, aiming for its intended port of call in South Korea. Unfortunately, as it reached the coast, something went horribly awry, and the ship collided violently with the Crystal, a container ship flagged from Hong Kong. Both ships were badly damaged, but the volatile cargo of the Sanchi meant its demise was far more spectacular, and sadly, deadly for the crew.

It was fully loaded with natural gas condensate, an oil distillate that is typically used in manufacturing. It is extremely light, and its case has created one of the more unique oil spills to be encountered on the water.

Rather than coagulating in slicks, this substance was light enough to become airborne, brewing a vapour. It is hoped that it is light enough to dissipated by the strong winds and rough seas occurring in the area at the moment, but this is essentially a world first – and no one knows what the end result will be. As we continue to hone our usage of hydrocarbons and chemicals, we must learn on the fly the best methods of remediating more and more unique spills, such as this tragic case illustrates.

For some local advice on remediating oil spills, contact your Australian experts at Ecospill, for some guidance and information.


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