16 June 2017

Oil spill off Pulau Tekong in Johor waters 15 Jun 2017

An oil tanker MT Putri Sea sank in Johor waters off Pulau Tekong, after an explosion on board on 15 Jun 2017 before dawn.
Location of incident from TODAY
When authorities arrived at the accident area, the tanker not in sight, "but there were traces of an oil spill in the area". Earlier reports said the tanker was believed to be carrying 'crude oil', later amended to 'fuel'. So far, no updates on what was spilled, how much and what was done about the spill.

Malaysian authorities said: "The tanker ship MT Putri Sea registered in Malabo Port, Equatorial Guinea was carrying fuel and was believed to have sunk 4.6 nautical miles off Pengerang waters after an explosion where fire engulfed the vessel's main engine room."

Update on 20 Jun:

"Malaysia is using chemical dispersants to break up a 3km-wide oil slick after a tanker laden with marine diesel sank last week.

Authorities said all six Indonesian crew were missing and feared dead.

The oil spill is close to Petronas’ billion dollar refinery and petrochemicals integrated development project in Pengerang.

Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, natural resources and environment minister said a “tier one” response has been initiated to fight the oil spill.

Tier one is regarded as a minor oil spill that can be resolved within days."

Media articles about the incident on wildsingapore news

What shores in Singapore could be affected?

The nearest shore is at Changi East, which we dubbed "The Lost Coast". It is an artificial sandy shore which had amazing animals the last time we visited in Dec 2012. It was then impacted by massive works in the area in Feb 2015.

The re-routed Coast Road now runs right next to the coast. But it remains 'lost' to us as there are prominent signs warning that we would be arrested if we visit the shore.

Beting Bronok is our last northern submerged reef, further north upstream from the incident site. Our last visit there was in Jun 2016 where we saw signs of the reef suffering from mass coral bleaching. We are scheduled to survey this site next week. Near Beting Bronok are also the mangroves of Pulau Tekong, among the last best mangroves in Singapore.

The shores of Changi and Pulau Ubin are much further west upstream. Let's hope the incident did not release much oil. Our northern shores already suffered from the 300-tonne oil spill in the East Johor Strait six months ago.

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