Oil spill in Dalian, China, Boston Globe
July 2010, in the northeastern port city of Dalian, China, two oil pipelines exploded, sending flames hundreds of feet into the air and burning for over 15 hours, destroying several structures - the cause of the explosion is under investigation. The damaged pipes released thousands of gallons of oil, which flowed into the nearby harbor and the Yellow Sea. The total amount of oil spilled is still not clear, though China Central Television earlier reported an estimate of 1,500 tons (400,000 gallons), as compared to the estimated 94 - 184 million gallons in the BP oil spill off the Louisiana coast. The oil slick has now grown to at least 430 square kilometers (165 sq mi), forcing beaches and port facilities to close while government workers and local fishermen work to contain and clean up the spill.Traffic generated by Northern Gateway pipelines could include approximately 18 condensate and crude oil tankers per month, including four to five Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) with a capacity of 2 million barrels of oil or more. (Almost 100 million gallons.) These ships are about 1,155 feet long—the length of 3.5 football fields—and 200 feet wide.
So, the spill pictured above, estimated at 400,000 gallons, is about one-half of one-percent of the amount that would be carried through the world's most dangerous coastal waters in a single VLCC supertanker. Over time, even the small possibility of a spill on BC coast or on the lands transited by the two Enbridge pipelines becomes a certainty.
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