Sinkage puts pressure on single hulls

The sinking of the 26-year-old oil tanker Prestige off the northwest Spanish coast – which has the potential to be the worse oil disaster since the Exxon Valdez in 1989 – has led to increased pressure to speed the scrapping of single-hulled tankers and talk of moves towards increased use of pipelines to transport oil. The single-hulled ship was carrying 77,000 tonnes of fuel oil, of which an estimated 60,000 tonnes leaked as the tanker broke up and sank.

Under the revised prevention of mariti