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Allied Shield finishes offloading operations for Solar I

April 1, 2007

By Ronilo Ladrido Pamonag
The Philippine Star 04/01/2007

ILOILO CITY – Allied Shield will dock at the Bacolod port today after finishing offloading oil from the sunken tanker Solar 1 off Guimaras.

It took Allied Shield 20 days to completely offload the remaining oil from the sunken tanker. It arrived at the spill site on March 11 and began drilling into the tanker’s hull a few days later.

It was initially estimated that the recovery operation will be from 20 to 30 days, depending on the amount of oil remaining in the compartments.

Solar 1’s 10 compartments were now completely empty of oil, officials of Petron Corp. told The STAR yesterday, allaying, especially those of Guimaras residents, that there would be another oil spill.

Allied Shield recovered a minimal amount of oil from the tanker’s compartments. Several compartments turned up empty. According to Allied Shield’s daily progress report dated March 30, compartments 1-4 on the starboard side and compartments 1-5 on the portside were empty. But it was able to recover “oil remnants” from compartment 4 on the portside.

The recovery ship will still do a complete post operational survey before leaving the site.

Solar 1 was carrying two million liters of bunker fuel owned by Petron Corp. when it sank in August last year.

Leaking oil coated kilometers of coastline and created wide oil slicks that drifted with the current, wreaking catastrophe on the environment.

Officials of the oil company are planning to hold a press conference tomorrow to show video footages taken during the offloading operation. The tanker’s insurer, Protection and Indemnity Club, hired Italian deep sea construction services provide Sonsub for the offloading operations.

Allied Shield is scheduled to head back to its homeport in Singapore also today.

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