The oil spillage from Alyarmouk, a Libyan-registered oil tanker, is not headed towards the island of Bintan judging from satellite images that were obtained on January 4th, as reported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MRA).
V. Ships UK Ltd., the ships managers of Alyarmouk, have reached an estimate of 4, 500 tonnes of Madura crude oil regarding the spillage that occurred after the tanker suffered a collision with Sinar Kapuas, a Singapore-registered bulk carrier, approximately 11 nautical miles North-East of Pedra Branca, Singapore on the 2nd of January.
MPA previously expected that due to weather and tidal currents, patches of oil might potentially affect the northern island parts but satellite data and aerial surveillance, conducted by Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF), did not indicate any spillage near Bintan.
The oil spill was caused by one of the vessel's cargo tanks, that was damaged in the collision.
The tanker was sailing from Tanjung Pelapas, Malayasia, to China, and Sinar Kapuas was en route from Hong Kong to Singapore, when the collision took place.
Two oil spillage response companies have been tasked with handling the situation. They have engaged four vessels, that are equipped with dispersants, oil booms and skimmers, to contain and clean up the spill. The oil was broken up into small globules via the use of non-toxic and bio-degradable dispersants.
In addition MPA said that they had been monitoring for potential sightings regarding the oil patches’ movement. They have also performed aerial surveillance on a daily basis whenever possible.
According to them, they are planning to continue inquiring with vessels that operate in the area on whether or not they have noticed any oil patches. For now only one case regarding a possible sighting of an oil patch, off the coast of Tanjong Berakit, north-east of Bintan, has been reported to the Indonesian authorities.
The update tells us that the two ships have been safely anchored and stabilized north-east of Pedra Branca.
There has been no report of injury. The traffic in the port and Strait of Singapore has remained unaffected.
MPA is carrying out an investigation aimed at finding the causes behind the incident.