Clear-up operation starts in Qingdao, China after Liberian vessel spills 500 tons of oil

Chinese crews from 12 vessels have commenced an operation to clean up an oil spill after the cargo ship Sea Justice collided with Liberia-flagged tanker A Symphony on Tuesday, causing a spill.

Officials in Shandong province said that 12 vessels were dispatched on Wednesday to clear up what has been termed a “minor” oil spill. A source from the Shandong Maritime Safety Administration told Reuters that initial estimates suggest around 500 tons of oil – equivalent to 3,420 barrels – leaked into the Yellow Sea near the Chinese port city of Qingdao following the collision on Tuesday. 

“The accident took place about 11 nautical miles south-east of Qingdao port, and so far there has been no direct impact on the operation of Qingdao port,” said the Shandong official. A spokesman for Goodwood Ship Management, which manages the tanker A Symphony, confirmed that “there were oil spill experts on the scene that have started clean-up operations.”

Witnesses told Reuters that the port remains busy on Wednesday despite the spill. 

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RT composite © Twitter / @TankerTrackers
Tanker carrying one million barrels of oil spilling petroleum into Yellow Sea after collision

On Tuesday, cargo vessel Sea Justice collided with the 272-meter-long tanker A Symphony, which was at anchor off Qingdao port. The collision was significant enough to cause a breach, releasing tons of bitumen mix into the sea. The Shandong Maritime Safety Administration said that the collision took place around 8:50am local time (12:50 GMT). 

Qingdao is one of China’s largest ports and most important crude oil refineries, currently accounting for around a quarter of China’s crude oil processing capacity. The city is one of China’s most northerly ports and sits on the Yellow Sea, which is shared with North Korea and South Korea.

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