Clean-up continues on Delaware River following damaged tanker's oil spill

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Nov. 29 -- A 10-mile stretch of the Delaware River remained closed to commercial traffic Monday as clean-up efforts continue following the spill Friday of about 714 bbl of heavy crude oil that caused a 20-mile oil slick. The oil was being transported from Venezuela to a refinery at Paulsboro, NJ, operated by Citgo Petroleum Corp. subsidiary Citgo Asphalt Refining Co.

Investigators found a 6-ft gash in the single-hull Cyprus-flagged tanker Athos I owned by Tsakos Shipping & Trading SA, Athens. The tanker, built in Japan in 1983, was carrying 325,000 bbl of oil. Holes were found in an underwater cargo tank and in an outside ballast tank. After the leak was discovered, the crew transferred oil from the damaged tank to another tank. The ship currently is listing 8° to port.

Citgo said it is working with the US Coast Guard and Tsakos to implement "a salvage plan that will have minimal environmental impact, recover the vessel's cargo, and allow the Delaware River to be reopened to traffic."

Tsakos will bear the cost of mitigation and cleanup efforts that are expected to take 2-3 months. Residual work may last as long as 6 months.

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