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Guimaras oil recovery could last a month – gov’t press release

February 21, 2007

ILOILO CITY (20 February) – The SONSUP will be able to recover the remaining oil from the sunken MT Solar I off the Guimaras strait within twenty days to over a month, according to Mr. Robin Galleti, commercial manager of the SONSUP, an Italian firm hired to conduct the oil recovery operations.

Galleti explained during a press briefing that it will depend on the situation considering that “there were no fixed quantity of remaining oil in the vessel, and nobody has the certainty of how much oil will be recovered”.

“Obviously, if we have to recover a small amount of oil, then the operations could last just a few days but we have to go through a very careful analysis of each and every tank,” Galleti said.

The SONSUP commercial manager said that on February 28, 2006 the Allied Shield vessel will be coming in from Singapore to commence the loading of all equipments, and the preparation of the vessel will take about five days. From Singapore, Galleti said, “we will transit directly to Iloilo and after the full clearance is secured we commence the operation by March 14”.

During the oil recovery operations, the SONSUP will be using Remotely Operated Vehicles for underwater operations. It will undertake the drilling of holes on the deck of the submerged tank but assured that there will be no risk of any oil coming out of the tank as these vehicles are equipped with cameras and lights and operated by personnel aboard the Dynamic Positioning vessel.

“A long pipe will be installed in the hole drilled on the deck of the tank. The sea water will go into the bottom and the oil floats into them and it will automatically come up, out of the valves and into the Oil Recovery Shuttle,” Galleti explained.

The oil recovery shuttle is like an upturned cup, Galleti said, and it has a maximum capacity of 28 cubic meters, and the shuttles will be filled with up to about 20 cubic meters per trip so as to ensure that there is no risk of oil coming out of the shuttle while its coming up the surface.

Galleti made the assurance that while the oil recovery operations is on progress, they have also a contingency oil disposal plan.

For safety’s sake, he said, there will be two tanks equipped with oil dispersants and oil boom for containing oil leaks in any eventuality and an airplane will also be on standby at all times.

“Through all these we will be able to deal with any sort of leakage or spill” that might occur while doing the recovery operations, Galleti concluded. (Philippine Information Agency)

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