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SKorea says will ban single hull tankers from 2010

by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Jan 7, 2008
South Korea will close its waterways to single-hulled tankers from 2010, five years earlier than originally planned, following the country's worst oil spill, officials said Monday.

South Korea originally planned to phase out visits by the spill-prone vessels by 2015 but the spill last month prompted it to bring forward the ban, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said.

"We have decided to advance the timetable. All single-hulled tankers will be barred from entering our waters from 2010," a ministry official told AFP.

A drifting barge smashed into the 147,000-ton Hong Kong-registered tanker Hebei Spirit on December 7 in the Yellow Sea, holing it in three places. The single-hulled ship spilt more than 10,000 tonnes of crude oil.

The Hong Kong-registered tanker has been impounded until clean-up costs of more than 11 million dollars are paid.

Tens of thousands of police, troops and volunteers have staged a huge clean-up of the polluted shoreline but environmentalist say the damage could last for years.

International efforts have been underway to require oil tankers to be double-hulled.

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Analysis: Nigeria's Delta vows crackdown
Miami (UPI) Jan 4, 2008
Hoping to curtail the rising violence in the oil-rich Niger Delta, one governor has threatened to arrest the family members of militants accused of attacking oil and gas operations.

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