Asia Is About To Be Hit By The “Worst Oil Tanker Spill In Decades”

The Sanchi disaster is even worse than many initially expected, according to a chilling new report published by Britain's National Oceanography Centre that shows the ship's cargo - the equivalent of nearly 1 million barrels of ultra-light crude, plus its own fuel - snaking across the East China Sea into the northern Pacific, according to a series of visualizations created by Reuters.


The Panama-registered vessel burst into flames after colliding with a cargo ship off the east coast of China while on its way to South Korea. The disaster, which took place in the East China Sea, is the worst oil spill since Exxon Valdez.

The Sanchi tanker and a cargo ship collided 260km (160 miles) off Shanghai on Jan. 6. Afterward, the tanker - which burned for a week before exploding and sinking - then drifted south-east towards Japan.

At the time, the Iranian press reported that all 32 crew members - 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis - died in the accident. The tanker was carrying 136,000 tonnes of ultra-light crude. The always-credible Chinese media claimed that no oil slick had formed.

Authorities have had trouble pinning down how big the spill is, as it changes by the day amid strong ocean currents. But concerns are growing about the potential impact to key fishing grounds and sensitive marine ecosystems off Japan and South Korea, which lie in the projected path of the oil, according to Britain’s National Oceanography Centre.

"An updated emergency ocean model simulation shows that waters polluted by the sinking Sanchi oil tanker could reach Japan within a month," the center said a report posted on Jan. 16. "The revised simulations suggest that pollution from the spill may be distributed much further and faster than previously thought, and that larger areas of the coast may be impacted."

According to Reuters, which examined the data, first, the toxic ultra-light crude would probably dissolve, forming a poisonous plume under the sea surface. However, it remains unclear how long condensate would stay in the water, with South Korean officials believing it would most likely evaporate.

However, the heavy fuel used to power the ship could wind up washing ashore, as depicted in the map below...


...During the first two weeks after the accident, the pollutants would likely linger in the water near the wreck...



...By day 25, some of the light crude could reach smaller islands off souther Japan. The Kuroshino Current runs directly though this part of the Pacific, which is rich with marine life, including numerous coral reefs that could suffer irreparable damage because of the spill...



...By day 40, the particles spread north toward South Korea and Kyushu island. Some could reach further along Japan's western coast...



...Two months after the wreck, pollutants could have drifted to the southern coast of Jeju island in South Korea, home to protected marine areas...




...By day 100, the pollutants will have mostly concentrated in the waters between Japan and South Korea. But some pollutants could drift out along Japan's western coast into the North Pacific.



The condensate involved in the Sanchi oil spill is different from the heavy oil involved in most oil spills. It is low density and considerably more explosive than regular crude. Condensate is used to create products like jet fuel, petrol, diesel and heating fuel...




Lost in Japan Laughing.Man Sun, 01/28/2018 - 18:33 Permalink

As an American (from the American Continent, the US is not America but part of it) I have mixed feeling about what many in here comment at every disaster happening in Japan. I do not agree with everything many people in this country do or say, but that doesn't mean I will wish the amount of horrible things I have seen here from commenters. The only people wishing bad things on Japan are Korean, Chinese and foreigners who have been brainwashed with the rethoric of these two countries.

However, this people put money before anything, and I mean that literally. I do business here and sometimes try to mix in family values with customers, which makes me fail miserably. There is absolutely nothing. No God. No Family. No Health issue. Nothing which can trump money from most people. That is one of the reasons this country can be easily manipulated by foreign elitists which make them create things that the whole world would find disgusting, and with time all those idiocies created are owned by half the population thanks to trends.

TL;DR-------- Japan is just as perfect and beautiful as any other country. If you want to criticize something, start by doing it about yourselves.

In reply to by Laughing.Man

Musum Lost in Japan Sun, 01/28/2018 - 19:26 Permalink

"The only people wishing bad things on Japan are Korean, Chinese and foreigners who have been brainwashed with the rethoric of these two countries."

Japan is the victim narrative, again? Nonsense. In the context of E. Asia, Japan is a black sheep and belligerent aggressor. Only in relation to the West can Japan ever be described as a victim.

In reply to by Lost in Japan

DavidFL Sun, 01/28/2018 - 15:05 Permalink the Japs - perhaps they may want to focus on plugging the radiation hole called Fukushima! Which, by the way, is washing up on the entire west coast of the US.

BritBob Sun, 01/28/2018 - 15:13 Permalink

Use military aircraft to set the oil alight! It will burn well. Otherwise it's going to take a lot of fairy liquid to disperse. How about getting Proctor & Gamble to sponsor the clean-up?

GooseShtepping Moron Sun, 01/28/2018 - 15:19 Permalink

Does this model account for bio-degradation or is it simply a dispersion analysis based on the assumption that the oil will remain unaffected in the ocean?

There are plenty of marine microorganisms that can metabolize hydrocarbons and even plastics. Here is an interesting fact: 99% of all the plastic that has washed into the sea since the advent of plastics has already vanished, broken down by ultraviolet light, wave action, and microbial decay.

Here is another interesting fact: Every year, more petroleum enters the ocean through natural seeps than has been lost in all tanker accidents in history combined. The reason it does not accumulate in the oceans, producing a permanent worldwide oil slick, is because it is metabolized and photolized by natural processes.

Oil spills are dramatic, unfortunate events that are damaging to local ecosystems, but they are in no wise "irremediable." The ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere of the earth have effective natural means of processing hydrocarbons and conveting them eventually into harmless CO2 and water.

LetThemEatRand GooseShtepping Moron Sun, 01/28/2018 - 16:56 Permalink

I call bullshit on 99% of all plastics are gone.  Are you saying the documentation of huge floating islands of garbage (mostly plastic) in the ocean are fake?  Even your link doesn't dispute it, it merely points out that the plastics become small pellets.  But they are still there.  As for the oil dispersing on its own eventually that is true, but only after a great deal of carnage to wide ranging (not just local) eco-systems.  It sounds like you're getting your information from the global corporation ministries of truth.

It is also true that if we had a nuclear war the earth would eventually recover, but only long after mankind ceased to exist.  As Carlin so aptly put it (paraphrasing), the earth doesn't give a shit about plastic and other pollutants.  It will be just fine.  Humans, however, should.

In reply to by GooseShtepping Moron

Stuck on Zero GooseShtepping Moron Sun, 01/28/2018 - 21:25 Permalink

I don't know how many of the stories are true but I can tell you what has become of of the largest most pristine reefs in the world: Glover's Reef off the coast of Belize. The entire place is covered in plastic garbage and most of the small reef fish are gone because of the lionfish invasion.  Literally, every cubic meter of seawater contains bottles, shards, shreds, and strings of plastic crap. The dive shop says it all floats in from the rivers in Honduras. Daily, the islanders collect cubic meters of the floating trash and burn it to keep the beaches somewhat clean. It's sad but most third world shitholes are absolute floating piles of plastic crap. The US is one of the cleanest places in the world in that regard. Here we put it in the food.

In reply to by GooseShtepping Moron

mkkby GooseShtepping Moron Sun, 01/28/2018 - 18:38 Permalink

... But in the meantime, already over fished ecosystems die even more.  Most fish populations are 90% lower than they were 50 years ago.  Marine mammals starve because finding food becomes more and more difficult.

Humans have WAY OVER POPULATED the planet.  If niggs/spics/muzzies continue to breed the way they do, in a few decades everything will be slums and wastelands.  No place left for nature to hide.

In reply to by GooseShtepping Moron

Don Sunset Sun, 01/28/2018 - 15:42 Permalink

"The disaster, which took place in the East China Sea, is the worst oil spill since Exxon Valdez."


Deep Water Horizon (2010) was the worst spill into water.  Gulf War oil spill (1991) was the worst on land.

Axenolith Sun, 01/28/2018 - 15:50 Permalink

This shit is ridiculous.  The natural seeps off Santa Barbara continually feed oil into the ocean, there are ecologies that DEPEND on it.  If there was ever an “environmental” argument for not exploiting offshore oil it would be because it starved out these ecosystems.

Funny how these individual releases are touted as being catastrophic to the planet, but same planet is still oceanically tooling along after several thousand ships including gobs of tankers were sent to davey jones’ locker in WWII.

if you want reefs saved how about getting people to quit fishing them with explosives???