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Exxon Valdez Oil Tanker Sold For Scrap

By MarEx 2012-11-20 10:25:00

23 years after causing the worst tanker spill in U.S. history, the Exxon Valdez has been sold for scrap. This infamous ship and disaster eventually led to the new designs for oil carriers.

Renamed the Oriental Nicety, the vessel was sold for about $16 million to Global Marketing Systems Inc., a Maryland-based cash buyer of ships for demolition, by Cosco. In 2007, it was transformed into an ore carrier and has had four different owners and names since the 1989 accident.

During the first few days of the spill, heavy sheens of oil covered large areas of the surface of Prince William Sound.

The notorious Exxon Valdez spill dumped 11 million gallons of oil in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Until the 2010 BP Macondo oil well accident in the Gulf of Mexico, this was the largest disaster for U.S. waters. According to Bloomberg, it’s still the country’s largest leak from a tanker, and it led to the U.S. requirement for ships to have two hulls. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 required owners to phase out single-hulled ships. All but 18 of the world’s 560 operating supertankers are now double-hulled.

Exxon Mobil Corp. is still facing litigation from the spill, in which they dedicated 3 years and nearly $4 billion to clean up. Overall, about 700 miles of coastline was damaged, over 36,000 birds were killed, and oil remains trapped along miles of gravel beaches. Exxon agreed in 2009 to pay $470 million in interest on a $507.5 million judgment won by local victims, including fishermen and small businesses, in addition to a $900 million civil settlement. Last month, a judge ruled that U.S. and Alaskan governments could pursue further damage claims.

Clean-up efforts after the Exxon Valdez oil spill