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Eagle Otome / Barge

Eagle Otome / Barge
Accident date
Accident area
Port Arthur, Texas
Spill area
Inland waters
Cause of spill
Product transported
Crude oil
Quantity transported
13,000 tonnes
Nature of pollutant
Crude oil
Quantity spilled
1,800 tonnes
Ship / structure type
Oil tanker
Built date
Koyo Dock K.K.
246 m
42 m
American Eagle Tankers Incorporated Ltd
Exxon Mobil

On 23 January 2010, the Singapore-registered oil tanker Eagle Otome, carrying 13,000 tonnes of oil, collided with a barge in the Sabine-Neches Waterway at Port Arthur (Texas, US). Nobody was injured but one of the oil tanker’s tanks was damaged by the collision and 1,800 tonnes of oil were spilt.

The US Coast Guard stopped ships from passing through the waterway and the Sabine River, which is the only way to four refineries representing 6.5% of US capacity.

An exclusion zone was set up around the oil tanker and the barge involved in the accident. Meanwhile, the tanker owner, American Eagle Tankers Incorporated Ltd, mobilised its spill response contractor to contain and recover the pollutant, which spread over some 15 km.

Due to the strong smell coming off the oil slicks, around one hundred local inhabitants were evacuated for a few hours.

During response, which involved 900 people, 17 km of floating boom were deployed and up to 60 vessels (including 27 skimmer vessels) were sent onsite. Oiled ships were cleaned with fire hoses and washing effluents were recovered. Meanwhile, lightering operations were carried out on the barge and the oil tanker.

After four days, 520 tonnes had evaporated or naturally dispersed and 380 tonnes of crude oil had been recovered. The Sabine-Neches Waterway was then partially reopened to shipping. Ecologically sensitive areas such as the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area, one of the most pristine reserves in the State, were preserved.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which controlled the air and water quality, stated that there was no pollution in the drinking water supply or in wastewater.

This incident, which was the largest oil spill Texas had known for 15 years, was in part due to heavy shipping in this area as well as to the narrowness of the channel. The waterway had not been widened or deepened since the 1960s.



Sources :

Last update on 07/06/2010

See also

Cedre Newsletter, N°176 - Janvier 2010

External links

NOAA database (IncidentNews)

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