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Major Oil Spills
compiled by George Draffan
Spain Prestige carrying 20 million gallons (70,000 metric tons) of fuel oil broke up off the Spanish coast.
Ecuador Ecuadorean-registered ship Jessica, spilled 175,000 gallons of diesel and bunker oil into the sea off the Galapagos Islands.
South Africa Some 1,400 tonnes of heavy fuel oil leaked from the bulk carrier Treasure off Cape Town, affecting penguins on Dassen and Robben Islands.
Brazil A ruptured pipeline spewed about 340,000 gallons of heavy oil into Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro.
France The stern of the Maltese tanker Erika sank off the northwest of Brittany after splitting in two, spilling 25,000 tonnes of viscous fuel oil.
Sea of Japan Japan Russian tanker Nakhodka spilled 19,000 tonnes of oil after breaking in two in the Sea of Japan.
UK UK Liberian-registered Sea Empress hit rocks near Milford Haven, Wales, spilling 72,000 tonnes of oil.
Portugal Portugal Panamanian tanker, Cercal, spilled about 2,000 tonnes of crude into the sea after striking a rock near Leixoes harbour, in Oporto.
United Arab Emirates UAE 15,900 tonnes of crude oil leaked into the Arabian Sea after the Panamanian-flagged Seki collided with the UAE tanker Baynunah 10 miles off the UAE port of Fujairah.
Thailand About 105,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the sea four miles off the eastern Sriracha coast after oil tanker Visahakit 5 and a cargo ship collided.
UK The tanker Braer hit rocks near the coast of the Shetland Islands and spilled its cargo of 85,000 tonnes of crude oil.
Spain Greek tanker Aegean Sea ran aground and broke in two near La Coruna spilling most of its 80,000 tonne cargo of oil.
Indonesia Liberian-registered tanker Nagasaki Spirit collided with container Ocean Blessing in the Malacca Straits, spilling some 12,000 tonnes of crude.
Angola/Liberia A Liberian-registered supertanker, ABT Summer, leaked 260,000 tonnes of oil after an explosion off Angola causing an oil slick 17 nautical miles by three.
Italy The Haven spilled more than 50,000 tons of oil off Genoa in Italy.
Persian Gulf Iraq released about 460 million gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf during the Gulf War.
USA American Trader leaked 300,000 gallons of crude oil, polluting Bosa Chica, one of southern California's biggest nature preserves.
USA Exxon Valdez grounded and spilled 10 million gallons (38,800 tons) of crude oil into Prince William Sound in Alaska.
Morrocco After explosions and a fire Iranian tanker Kharg-5 was abandoned spilling 70,000 tonnes of crude oil, endangering the coast and oyster beds at Oualidia.
South Africa Fire broke out on the Spanish tanker Castillo de Bellver and 175.6m gallons of light crude burnt off the coast at Cape Town. Fire broke out on the the Castillo de Bellver and its cargo of 252,000 tonnes of oil burnt.
Trinidad 160,000 tons of crude oil spilled after a collision off Tobago between the Atlantic Empress and the Aegean Captain.
France 220,000 tons of crude oil spilled after Amoco Cadiz ran aground near Portsall ; the slick eventually covered 125 miles of Breton coast.
Northern Pacific Liberian-registered Hawaiian Patriot caught fire in the Northern Pacific spilling 30.4m gallons.
USA Argo Merchant ran aground off Nantucket Island Massachusetts, spilling 7.7m gallons of oil and causing a slick 100 miles long and 60 miles wide.
Oman After a collision with Brazilian tanker Horta Barbosa the South Korean tanker Sea Star spilled about 35.3m gallons of crude into the Gulf of Oman.
Sweden 15.3m gallons of oil spilled in a collision involving the Othello in Tralhavet Bay.
UK The Torrey Canyon spilled 119,000 tons of crude off the Scilly Islands (Cornwall) in the UK. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989. It is considered one of the most devastating man-made environmental disasters ever to occur at sea. As significant as the Exxon Valdez spill was, it ranks well down on the list of the world's largest oil spills in terms of volume released. However, Prince William Sound's remote location (accessible only by helicopter and boat) made government and industry response efforts difficult and severely taxed existing plans for response. The region was a habitat for salmon, sea otters, seals, and seabirds. The vessel spilled 10.8 million U.S. gallons (40.9×103 m3 or 9.0×106 imp gal) of Prudhoe Bay crude oil into the sea, and the oil eventually covered 11,000 square miles (28,000 km2) of ocean.[2
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