BEIJING, Jan 7 (Reuters) – A tanker carrying Iranian oil and run by the country’s top oil shipping operator was ablaze and spewing cargo into the East China Sea on Sunday after colliding with a Chinese bulk ship, leaving its 32 crew members missing.
The Panama-registered tanker was sailing from Iran to South Korea, carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate, an ultra light crude. That is equivalent to just under 1 million barrels.
The damage and volume of oil spilled are not yet known.
Tanker incidents causing large oil spills – greater than 700 tonnes – have steadily reduced from an average 24.5 a year in the 1970s to 1.7 on average per year since 2010, according to the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF).
Below is a list of the major oil tanker spills since 1970 from ITOPF’s database:
2007: Hebei Spirit off South Korea – 11,000 tonnes
2002: Prestige off Spain – 63,000 tonnes
1999: Erika off France – 20,000 tonnes
1996: Sea Empress off Wales, United Kingdom – 72,000 tonnes
1991: ABT Summer off Angola – 260,000 tonnes
1989: Khark 5 off Morocco – 70,000 tonnes
Exxon Valdez, Alaska – 37,000 tonnes
1983: Castillo de Bellver off South Africa – 252,000 tonnes
1979: Atlantic Empress in the Caribbean – 287,000 tonnes
The tonnages include all oil lost, including product which burnt or remained in a sunken vessel.
(Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Susan Fenton)
(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2018.