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The accident happened outside the Chinese port of Qingdao. Photo: Reuters

Oil spills into sea after tanker collision outside Chinese port of Qingdao

  • No injuries reported after accident, but owner of the Liberian-flagged tanker confirms leak into Yellow Sea
  • Suezmax ship had picked up oil products at a shipping hub near Malacca before heading to China

A tanker carrying around one million barrels of oil products was involved in a collision near the Chinese port city of Qingdao on Tuesday, spilling oil into the Yellow Sea.

The collision involving anchored Liberia-flagged tanker A Symphony and the Sea Justice took place at 0850 local time (0050 GMT), A Symphony’s manager Goodwood Ship Management said.

“The force of the impact on the forward port side caused a breach in cargo tanks and ballast tanks, with a quantity of oil lost into the ocean,” Goodwood said, adding all of the crew had been accounted for and there were no injuries.

It was not immediately possible to contact the owner of the Sea Justice.


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Stranded Ever Given partially refloated after blocking Egypt’s Suez Canal for nearly a week

“The oil spill came after a clash between two vessels,” an official at the Shandong maritime safety authority said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official confirmed that no one was injured.

The A Symphony, a Suezmax tanker was last seen near the Qingdao port, live shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon showed.

The tanker called at Linggi International Transhipment Hub, near Malacca in peninsular Malaysia, earlier this month, where it fully loaded oil and set sail for China, the data showed.

When contacted by Reuters, an executive at Run Cheng International Resource (HK) Co said the company owned the 150,000-tonne cargo of bitumen on board A Symphony.

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Bitumen, a mixture of hydrocarbons from residue in refining, is used for road surfacing and roofing. However, shipping sources said bitumen is typically moved in smaller vessels with specialised heating rather than suezmaxes.

The 272 metre-long and 46 metre-wide oil tanker was sold in May 2019 to its new owners Symphony Shipholding SA and NGM Energy, Equasis data showed.

Symphony Shipholding SA and NGM Energy could not be immediately reached for comment.