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Exxon Valdez sold for scrap

  |   March 21, 2012 at 7:41 AM
BALTIMORE, March 21 (UPI) -- The greatest risk to oil transport is the effect a major shipping accident can have on the environment, a consultant said after the scrapping of Exxon Valdez.

Oriental Nicety, the vessel formally named Exxon Valdez, was sold for around $16 million for scrap to Global Marketing Systems Inc., a company in Maryland.

Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989, resulting in the worst oil spill in U.S. waters until the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

"The accident pointed out that the biggest risk involved in oil transport is the impact an accident can have on the environment," said Thomas Zwick, an analyst at Oslo shipping consultant Lorentzen and Stemoco AS, in a statement to Bloomberg News.

"Large companies can go under as a consequence of the financial liabilities bestowed upon them following an accident."

Exxon Mobil spent roughly three years and more than $3.5 billion cleaning up the Alaskan coast after the spill. In 2009, the company agreed to pay more than $1 billion in damages and still faces additional claims.

Exxon Valdez was converted to an ore carrier in 2007. Bloomberg reports it changed owners and names four times since the oil spill.

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