1

2

3

4

5

On 19 July 1979, the Atlantic Empress spilled 42.7 million gallons of oil as the result of a collision with the Aegean Captain in the Caribbean Sea near Trinidad-Tobago. In this incident, the Aegean Captain spilled 4.31 million gallons of oil. On 2 August 1979, while under tow from the original spill site, the Atlantic Empress spilled an additional 41.5 million gallons. In this incident the vessel sank with some of its cargo still onboard after spilling an undetermined amount of oil. The spill size reported reflects the total amount of oil spilled and oil left onboard the sinking vessel. Estimates of the two amounts are not available. The records of the 20 March 1970 Othello spill have been the subject of controversy. The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) claims that the spill size could be no larger than 25,000 gallons and that the vessel recorded as the tanker Othello is probably the freighter Otello (DWT 4,376) listed in the 1970-1971 Lloyd's List. A vessel of this size would have a maximum oil-carrying capacity of 1.35 million gallons. A number of other sources, however, report the spill size to be as large as 30.7 million gallons. Several reports indicate that the oil formed huge blobs that sank below the water, leaving only about 10 cm of the oil exposed on the surface. The bay was covered with 60-cm-deep ice except in the shipping channel. Since a large part of the oil disappeared below the ice and the surface of the water, estimates of spill volume were difficult to make. This vessel was "scuttled" -- deliberately sunk -- with some of its cargo still onboard after salvage efforts failed. The volume of oil spilled versus the amount sunk within the vessel are not available. ITOPF gives the spill amount as 76.44 million gallons, which includes all oil left onboard the tanker when it sank. It is unclear how much oil burned, spilled into the water, or sank.

Table 2: Oil Spills Involving More Than 10 Million Gallons (courtesy of "Oil Spill Intelligence Report")
Rank 1 Incident Millions of Gallons 240.0

26 January 1991; terminals, tankers; 8 sources total Sea Island installations; Kuwait; off coast in Persian Gulf and in Saudi Arabia 03 June 1979; exploratory well Ixtoc I well; Mexico; Gulf of Mexico, Bahia Del Campeche, 80 km NW of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche 02 March 1992; oil well; Uzbekistan; Fergana Valley 04 February 1983; platform No. 3 well (Nowruz); Iran; Persian Gulf, Nowruz Field 06 August 1983; tanker Castillo de Bellver; South Africa; Atlantic Ocean, 64km off Table Bay 16 March 1978; tanker Amoco Cadiz; France; Atlantic Ocean, off Portsall, Brittany 10 November 1988; tanker Odyssey; Canada; North Atlantic Ocean, 1,175 km NE of Saint John's,

2

140.0

3 4

88.0 80.0

5

78.5

6

68.7

7

43.1

Newfoundland
8

19 July 1979; tanker Atlantic Empress; Trinidad and Tobago; Caribbean Sea, 32 km northeast of TrinidadTobago 01 August 1980; production well D-103 concession well; 800 km southeast of Tripoli, Libya 11 April 1991; tanker Haven; Italy; Mediterranean Sea, port of Genoa 02 August 1979; tanker Atlantic Empress; 450 km east of Barbados 18 March 1967; tanker Torrey Canyon; United Kingdom; Lands End 19 December 1972; tanker Sea Star; Oman; Gulf of Oman 23 February 1980; tanker Irenes Serenade; Greece; Mediterranean Sea, Navarino Bay, off Pylos port 07 December 1971; tanker Texaco Denmark; Belgium; North Sea 23 February 1977; tanker Hawaiian Patriot; United States; Pacific Ocean 593 km west of Kauai Island, Hawaii 20 August 1981; storage tanks; Kuwait; Shuaybah 25 October 1994; pipeline Kharyaga-Usinsk Pipeline; Russia; Usinsk 15 November 1979; tanker Independentza; Turkey, Bosporus Strait near Istanbul, 0.8 km from Hydarpasa port 11 February 1969; tanker Julius Schindler; Portugal; Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands 12 May 1976; tanker Urquiola; Spain; La Coruña Harbor port 25 May 1978; pipeline No. 126 well and pipeline; Iran; Ahvazin 05 January 1993; tanker Braer; United Kingdom; Garth Ness, Shetland Islands 29 January 1975; tanker Jakob Maersk; Portugal; Porto de Leisoes, Oporto 06 July 1979; storage tank Tank #6; Nigeria; Forcados 03 December 1992; double-bottom tanker Aegean Sea; Spain; La Coruña harbor port 06 December 1985; tanker Nova; Iran; Persian Gulf, 140 km south of Kharg Island

42.71

9

42.0

10

42.0

11

41.51

12

38.2

13 14

37.9 36.6

15

31.5

16

31.22

17 18

31.2 30.7

19

28.9

20

28.4

21

28.1

22

28.0

23

25.0

24

24.3

25 26

23.9 21.9

27

21.4

28

15 February 1996; tanker Sea Empress; United Kingdom; Mill Bay near entrance to Milford Haven Harbor port 27 February 1971; tanker Wafra; South Africa; Atlantic Ocean 11 December 1978; fuel storage depot; Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia); Salisbury 19 December 1989; tanker Khark 5; Morocco; Atlantic Ocean, 185 km from Moroccan coast 20 March 1970; freighter Othello; Sweden; Tralhavet Bay east of Vaxholm 13 May 1975; tanker Epic Colocotronis; United States; Caribbean Sea, 111 km northwest of Puerto Rico 12 June 1978; storage tanks; Japan; Sendai (offshore Miyagi prefecture) 06 December 1960; tanker Sinclair Petrolore; Brazil 07 January 1983; tanker Assimi; Oman; Gulf of Oman, Ras al Hadd, 93 km from Muscat 09 November 1974; tanker Yuyo Maru No. 10; Japan; Tokyo Bay, Honshu Island 28 May 1991; tanker ABT Summer; Angola; open water 1,287 km off coast in the Atlantic Ocean 26 April 1992; tanker Katina P.; South Africa; Indian Ocean, 180 km east of Durban 22 May 1965; tanker Heimvard; Japan; Pacific Ocean, Hokkaido Island 31 December 1978; tanker Andros Patria; Spain; Bay of Biscay off Cape Villano, Spain 13 June 1968; tanker World Glory; South Africa; Indian Ocean, 105 km east Durban 13 January 1975; tanker British Ambassador; Japan; Pacific Ocean, 333 km west of Iwo Jima Island 09 December 1983; tanker Pericles GC; Qatar; Persian Gulf, 30 km east-northeast of Doha 09 August 1974; tanker Metula; Chile; Straits of Magellan, Satellite Bank port 01 June 1970; tanker Ennerdale; Seychelles; Indian Ocean 07 December 1978; tanker Tadotsu; Indonesia; Strait of Malacca, near Dumai 29 February 1968; tanker Mandoil; United States; Pacific Ocean, off Columbia River, near Warrenton, Oregon

21.3

29

20.2

30

20.0

31

20.0

32

18.03

33

18.0

34

17.7

35 36

17.6 15.8

37

15.84

38

15.05

39

15.0

40

14.7

41

14.6

42

14.2

43

14.22

44

14.0

45

13.9

46 47

13.8 13.2

48

12.6

49

18 December 1974; refinery storage tank Mizushima Refinery; Japan; Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Japan Seto Inland Sea 10 June 1973; tanker Napier; Chile; Southeast Pacific Ocean off west coast of Chile 26 August 1979; ore/bulk/oil carrier Patianna; United Arab Emirates; Persian Gulf, 11 km off Dubai 11 June 1972; tanker Trader; Greece; Mediterranean Sea off east coast Greece 24 March 1989; tanker Exxon Valdez; United States; Prince William Sound, Valdez, Alaska 29 December 1980; tanker Juan Antonio Lavalleja; Algeria; Arzew Harbor 21 October 1994; tanker Thanassis A.; Hong Kong; South China Sea, 700 km off coast in international waters 19 October 1978; pipeline; Turkey; Mardin 01 November 1979; tanker Burmah Agate; United States; Gulf of Mexico, 6.4 km off entrance to Galveston Bay, Texas 22 April 1988; tanker Athenian Venture; Canada; Atlantic Ocean, 563-644 km SE of Cape Race, Newfoundland 07 March 1996; tanker unknown; Mexico; Adolfo Lopez Mateo Thermoelectric Plant, Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico, Tuxpan, Veracruz 14 December 1978; storage tank; United States; Benuelan, Puerto Rico 07 February 1977; tanker Borag; Taiwan; East China Sea, 3 km north of Chilung 23 October 1986; production well well Abkatun 91; Mexico; Gulf of Mexico, Bahía de Campeche, 64 km NW of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche 06 February 1976; tanker St. Peter (Saint Peter); Colombia; Pacific Ocean, 56 km west of Punta Manglares 28 April 1979; ore/bulk carrier Gino; France; Atlantic Ocean, Ile d'Ouessant, 64 km off Brittany 27 April 1986; storage tank Refineria Las Minas; Panama; Colón, Las Minas Bay (Bahía Las Minas)

11.6

50

11.3

51

11.2

52

11.0

53

11.0

54

11.0

55

10.9

56 57

10.7 10.7

58

10.6

59

10.6

60

10.5

61

10.4

62

10.4

63

10.32

64

10.1

65

10.1

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