ExxonMobil criticized on single-hull tankers

On the twentieth anniversary of the ExxonValdez disaster in Alaska, ExxonMobil is drawing fire for continuing to use single-hulled tankers to transport crude.

After 79% of the world supertanker fleet has been replaced by craft with two hulls, ExxonMobil remains the biggest Western user of the older designs, though companies in Asia still use them almost exclusively. But ExxonMobil hired more of the tankers last year than the rest of the 10 biggest companies by market value combined, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. ExxonMobil has kept using tankers with one hull even as 151 countries have decided two are better than one for preventing oil spills and pledged to ban single-hull vessels by 2015. UK supermajor BP says it won’t hire them because of the risk of leaking.
On 6 March, a tanker BP hired, the double-hull SKS Satilla, struck the Ensco 74 jack-up 65 miles from Galveston, Texas, which had been lost during Hurricane Ike. The incident, which caused “multiple punctures” along a 60-metre (197-foot) by 12-metre section of the ship, didn’t leak any oil, Coast Guard spokesman Tim Tilghman said.

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