Exxon Valdez Oil Tanker Sold
March 26, 2012

Exxon Valdez Oil Tanker Sold

The oil tanker known for one of the worst oil spills in U.S. history, the Exxon Valdez, has been bought by Indian company Best Oasis.

The company did not disclose the price or purpose of its purchase, but Best Oasis is known for buying old ships to dismantle and reuse the salvageable material.

The Exxon Valdez oil tanker rose to fame on March 24, 1989 when it ran onto rocks, coating the shoreline with oil and killing nearly 40,000 birds and other animals.

Exxon Mobil spent $900 million paying restitution in a 1991 settlement, and is still battling litigation from the spill.

The ship is now a converted ore carrier known as the Oriental Nicety, but its current location and status are unknown.

The 26-year-old ship was split by rocks in the 1989 Alaska spill, and was damaged in a collision in the South China Sea in 2010.

The oil tanker had been responsible for the worst oil spill in U.S. history until BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.  This spill caused 11 deaths and put about 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, compared to the 750,000 spilled by Exxon Valdez.

Estimates say that BP will be paying out about $6 billion in claims, including government claims and cleanup costs.  The company agreed with the U.S. government to set aside $20 billion in funds to help pay claims.

According to reports, the causes of the Exxon Valdez running into rocks was because Exxon Shipping Company had failed to give the crew sufficient rest.

This prompted a safety recommendation for Exxon and the oil industry as a whole, which was known for its workers performing on lack of sleep.

The third mate is the one who was controlling the vessel during the crash.  The captain was confirmed to be asleep when the ship crashed.

According to an MIT study, the Exxon Valdez was sailing outside the normal sea lane to avoid small icebergs thought to be in the area.

India is one of the largest industries for breaking down old ships and oil tankers.  Best Oasis is actually based in Hong-Kong, but is a subsidiary of India's Priya Blue Industries.