Exxon Valdez
Overview
 
Oriental Nicety, formerly Exxon Valdez, Exxon Mediterranean, SeaRiver Mediterranean, S/R Mediterranean, Mediterranean, and Dong Fang Ocean is an oil tanker
Tanker (ship)
A tanker is a ship designed to transport liquids in bulk. Major types of tankship include the oil tanker, the chemical tanker, and the liquefied natural gas carrier.-Background:...

 that gained notoriety after running aground in Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound is a sound off the Gulf of Alaska on the south coast of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is located on the east side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its largest port is Valdez, at the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System...

 spilling hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 in Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

. On March 24, 1989, while owned by the former Exxon Shipping Company
ExxonMobil
Exxon Mobil Corporation or ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company, and was formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas...

, and captained by Joseph Hazelwood
Joseph Hazelwood
Joseph Jeffrey Hazelwood is an American sailor. He was the captain of the Exxon Valdez during its 1989 oil spill. He was accused of being drunk at the time of the accident, though at trial he was cleared of this charge...

 bound for Long Beach, California
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

, the vessel ran aground on the Bligh Reef
Bligh Reef
Bligh Reef, sometimes known as Bligh Island Reef, is a reef off the coast of Bligh Island in Prince William Sound, Alaska. This was the location of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. After the incident, US Code 33 § 2733 mandated the operation of an automated navigation light to prevent future...

 resulting in the second largest oil spill
Exxon Valdez oil spill
The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, when the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, California, struck Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef and spilled of crude oil. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused...

 in United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 history.
Encyclopedia
Oriental Nicety, formerly Exxon Valdez, Exxon Mediterranean, SeaRiver Mediterranean, S/R Mediterranean, Mediterranean, and Dong Fang Ocean is an oil tanker
Tanker (ship)
A tanker is a ship designed to transport liquids in bulk. Major types of tankship include the oil tanker, the chemical tanker, and the liquefied natural gas carrier.-Background:...

 that gained notoriety after running aground in Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound is a sound off the Gulf of Alaska on the south coast of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is located on the east side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its largest port is Valdez, at the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System...

 spilling hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 in Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

. On March 24, 1989, while owned by the former Exxon Shipping Company
ExxonMobil
Exxon Mobil Corporation or ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company, and was formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas...

, and captained by Joseph Hazelwood
Joseph Hazelwood
Joseph Jeffrey Hazelwood is an American sailor. He was the captain of the Exxon Valdez during its 1989 oil spill. He was accused of being drunk at the time of the accident, though at trial he was cleared of this charge...

 bound for Long Beach, California
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

, the vessel ran aground on the Bligh Reef
Bligh Reef
Bligh Reef, sometimes known as Bligh Island Reef, is a reef off the coast of Bligh Island in Prince William Sound, Alaska. This was the location of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. After the incident, US Code 33 § 2733 mandated the operation of an automated navigation light to prevent future...

 resulting in the second largest oil spill
Exxon Valdez oil spill
The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, when the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, California, struck Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef and spilled of crude oil. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused...

 in United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 history. The size of the spill is estimated at 40900 to 120000 m³ (10,804,636.3 to 31,700,644.5 usgal), or 257,000 to 750,000 barrels. In 1989, Exxon Valdez oil spill was listed as the 54th largest spill in history.

Carrier

The tanker is 301 meters long, 50 meters wide, 26 meters depth (987 ft, 166 ft, 88 ft), weighing 30,000 tons empty and powered by a (31,650 shp) diesel engine
Diesel engine
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...

. The ship can transport up to 235,000 m³ (1.48 million barrels
Barrel (unit)
A barrel is one of several units of volume, with dry barrels, fluid barrels , oil barrel, etc...

 / 200,000 t) at a sustained speed of (16.25 knots). Its hull design is of the single-hull type. It was built by National Steel and Shipbuilding Company
National Steel and Shipbuilding Company
National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, commonly referred to as NASSCO, is a shipyard in San Diego, California and Norfolk, Virginia and a division of General Dynamics. The shipyard specializes in constructing commercial cargo ships and auxiliary vessels for the US Navy and Military Sealift...

 in San Diego, California. A relatively new tanker at the time of the spill, she was delivered to Exxon in December 1986.

Prince William Sound oil spill

At the time of the spill Exxon Valdez was employed to transport crude oil from the Alyeska consortium's pipeline terminal in Valdez, Alaska
Valdez, Alaska
Valdez is a city in Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 4,020. The city is one of the most important ports in Alaska. The port of Valdez was named in 1790 after the Spanish naval officer Antonio Valdés y...

, to the lower 48 states of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. At the time it ran aground, the vessel was carrying about 201,000 m³ (53.1 million gallons of oil). After the spill, the vessel was towed to San Diego
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

, arriving on June 10, 1989, and repairs were started on June 30, 1989. Approximately 1,600 tons of steel were removed and replaced that July, totaling US$30 million of repairs to the tanker. Its single-hull design remained unaltered.

After repairs, Exxon Valdez was renamed Exxon Mediterranean, then SeaRiver Mediterranean in the early 1990s, when Exxon transferred their shipping business to a new subsidiary company, River Maritime Inc. The name was later shortened to S/R Mediterranean, then to simply Mediterranean in 2005. Although Exxon tried briefly to return the ship to its North American fleet, it was prohibited by law from returning to Prince William Sound. It then served in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In 2002, the ship was again removed from service. In 2005, it began operating under the Marshall Islands flag of convenience
Flag of convenience
The term flag of convenience describes the business practice of registering a merchant ship in a sovereign state different from that of the ship's owners, and flying that state's civil ensign on the ship. Ships are registered under flags of convenience to reduce operating costs or avoid the...

. Since then, European Union regulations have also prevented vessels with single-hull designs such as the Valdez from entering European ports. It is currently in service in East Asia. In early 2008, SeaRiver Maritime, an ExxonMobil subsidiary, sold Mediterranean to a Hong Kong-based shipping company named Hong Kong Bloom Shipping Ltd., which renamed the ship once again as Dong Fang Ocean, now under Panama registry. During 2008, the ship was refitted, converting it from an oil tanker to an ore carrier. Dong Fang Ocean remains in service as of 2009 in this new configuration.

Litigation

Litigation was filed on behalf of 38,000 litigants. In 1994, a jury awarded plaintiffs US$287 million in compensatory damages and US$5 billion in punitive damages. Exxon appealed and the Ninth Circuit court reduced the punitive damages to US$2.5 billion. Exxon then appealed the punitive damages to the Supreme Court which capped the damages to US$507.5 million in June, 2008. On August 27, 2008, Exxon Mobil agreed to pay 75% of the US$507.5 million damages ruling to settle the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska.
In June 2009, a federal ruling ordered Exxon to pay an additional US$480 million in interest on their delayed punitive damage awards.

As of 2010 there are approximately 98 cubic metres (25,888.9 US gal) of Valdez crude oil still in Alaska's sand and soil.

Collision with MV Aali

On November 29, 2010, Dong Fang Ocean collided in the South China Sea with the Malta-flagged cargo ship, Aali. Both vessels were severely damaged in the incident, and Aali was towed to Weihai
Weihai
Weihai is a city in eastern Shandong Province, People's Republic of China. It is the easternmost prefecture-level city of the province and a major seaport. Between 1898 and 1930, the town was a British colony known as Weihaiwei or the Weihai Garrison , and sometimes as Port Edward...

 and Dong Fang Ocean was towed to Longyan Port in Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

. As of 10 December 2010, she is moored at Dalian
Dalian
Dalian is a major city and seaport in the south of Liaoning province, Northeast China. It faces Shandong to the south, the Yellow Sea to the east and the Bohai Sea to the west and south. Holding sub-provincial administrative status, Dalian is the southernmost city of Northeast China and China's...

.

In popular culture

In the 1995 post-apocalyptic science fiction film
Science fiction film
Science fiction film is a film genre that uses science fiction: speculative, science-based depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial life forms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception, and time travel, often along with futuristic...

 Waterworld
Waterworld
Waterworld is a 1995 post-apocalyptic science fiction film. The film was directed by Kevin Reynolds and co-written by Peter Rader and David Twohy. It is based on Rader's original 1986 screenplay and stars Kevin Costner, who also produced it. It was distributed by Universal Pictures...

, the Exxon Valdez is still intact in the far future when the polar ice caps have melted and flooded the earth. It serves as home base for the antagonist
Antagonist
An antagonist is a character, group of characters, or institution, that represents the opposition against which the protagonist must contend...

 "Smokers" clan. A portrait of Captain Hazelwood
Joseph Hazelwood
Joseph Jeffrey Hazelwood is an American sailor. He was the captain of the Exxon Valdez during its 1989 oil spill. He was accused of being drunk at the time of the accident, though at trial he was cleared of this charge...

is prominently displayed and "Saint Joe" serves as their patron saint. The tanker explodes and sinks at the end of the film.
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