Tanker involved in S. Korea oil spill offloads oil

SEOUL Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:40am EST

SEOUL Feb 17 (Reuters) - A tanker run by Singapore's Ocean Tankers completed the offloading of 278,000 tonnes of oil in the sea off South Korea over 15 days after the vessel had collided with a pipeline as it prepared to berth, causing an oil spill.

The pipeline run by GS Caltex Corp leaked oil at a quay off Yeosu, more than 300 km (185 miles) south of Seoul. The spill was estimated at 164,000 litres from the pipeline only, not from the tanker.

South Korea's ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said on Monday the 318,445 deadweight tonne VLCC (very large crude carrier) Wu Yi San, carrying North Sea crude, had offloaded 140,000 tonnes on Thursday and the rest on Sunday.

Local media said the Wu Yi San, which was chartered to Shell , will be repaired and that it had transferred the crude to another ship, from where it was offloaded to a tank nearby.

The GS Caltex refinery in Yeosu, which has a capacity of 775,000 barrels per day (bpd), cut runs by 170,000 bpd for over five days after the spill and has since increased the rate back to 710,000 to 720,000 bpd.

GS Caltex, the second-largest South Korean refiner, is owned by Chevron Corp and South Korea's GS Energy, part of GS Holdings.

In another spill over the weekend, a freighter leaked 237,000 litres of bunker fuel into the sea off Busan, over 300 km southeast of Seoul, in a collision with a fuel tanker during refuelling, according to the Korean government.

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