QINGDAO, China (Reuters) – Ships steered clear of A Symphony on Thursday as an oil spill clean-up in the Yellow Sea near the Chinese port city of Qingdao continued, two days after a collision between the tanker and a bulk vessel in thick fog.
A preliminary study estimated about 500 tonnes (3,420 barrels) of oil had been spilled but this needs to be assessed further, a Shandong Maritime Safety Administration official who declined to be identified told Reuters by phone on Wednesday.
The Liberia-flagged tanker A Symphony was at anchor off Qingdao port with a cargo of around a million barrels of bitumen mix on board when it was involved in the collision with shipping vessel Sea Justice on Tuesday. The accident took place about 11 nautical miles south-east of Qingdao port and the impact caused a breach in its cargo tanks and ballast tanks.
Ships have been instructed to stay at least 10 nautical miles away from the A Symphony.
(Graphic: Other ships steer clear of ‘A Symphony’ as oil spill clean-up continues off Qingdao, China – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/oakpewkajpr/ASymphonyVesselGap.png)
Hong Kong-based fuel trading company Run Cheng International Resource (HK) Co has said it was the owner of the 150,000-tonne cargo of bitumen blend on board the A Symphony.
Bitumen mix, a blend of heavy crude oil and residue, is used by China’s independent refiners as an alternative refining feedstock as it often incurs a lower import tax than crude oil. It is also used for road surfacing and roofing.
(Reporting by Martin Pollard and Carlos Garcia in Qingdao, Muyu Xu in Beijing, Gavin Maguire in Singapore, and Beijing newsroom; Writing by Shivani Singh; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)