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Thursday, September 20, 2018


Marine oil pollution in the US increased in 2000

The USCG September statistics show about 1.4 million gallons of marine pollution in 2000, the highest since 1996 but still the 4th lowest since 1973 (only 1997-1999 were lower) and only 17% of the average for this period.

Pollution from tankers virtually stopped in the US after Exxon Valdez in 1989. Oil pollution from tankers was reduced from a total of 124 mil gallons for the period 1973-1980, to 89 million for the period 1981-1990 and 18 mill gallons for the 10 years 1991 to 2000. However, on 22 November 2000 an 1981-built aframax tanker grounded in the Mississippi, near Buras, Louisiana. Some 538,000 gallons (12,800 barrels or 1,800 tonnes) of crude oil were spilled into the river from the number one cargo tank. This incident accounted for 38% of the oil spill volume reported to the U S. Coast Guard for the year 2000. Also, this was the largest oil spill into US waters since a pipeline ruptured in 1996, and the largest tanker spill since 1990.

In 1999 only 8,414 gallons of petroleum products were spilt from tankers, the lowest ever.

The brand new Baltic Carrier outside Denmark in March was the biggest incident world wide involving oil spills from tankers this year.  In the Persian Gulf we have recorded a relatively large heavy fuel oil spill from a small tanker Khalid 1, which was reported to be involved in the smuggling of oil. Zainab, a Georgia-flagged vessel that sank off Dubai in mid-April, left a 30-km oil slick containing 1,300 tonnes of crude that persisted for three weeks (Fairplay).

Web link: our working file on the development of oil spills from tankers since 1973 and tanker incidents:

Mexican oil export unstable

This year Mexican oil exports have varied between 1.75 mbd in January to March and 1.65 mbd in July.  In 1999 exports were just over 1.5 mbd and the peak in recent years was reached in March 1997 at 1.9 mbd.

Web link: exports over the last years: