PCG: Sunken oil tanker in Oriental Mindoro now half-empty

Marina issues a CDO against the owner of MT Princess Empress, the oil tanker that sank and caused a massive oil spill that wreaked havoc on the fishing villages and the marine ecosystem in Oriental Mindoro.

LOST AND FOUND | A Japanese remotely operated underwater vehicle on Tuesday located the oil tanker MT Princess Empress at a depth of 394.9 meters in the waters between Oriental Mindoro and Marinduque. The ship continues to leak oil almost a month after it sank on February 28, 2023. (Photo from the Philippine Coast Guard)

MANILA, Philippines — The submerged oil tanker in Oriental Mindoro which caused a massive oil spill is estimated to have already released around half of the fuel it contained, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said that of the 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil, the tanker now only contain up to 400,000 liters.

“Doon sa original na eight hundred [thousand liters], parang sa pag-aaral — vina-validate pa lang — parang mga three hundred, close to four hundred [thousand liters] na lang yung natitirang langis doon sa barko,” Balilo said in an ambush interview in the Philippine Coast Guard headquarters in Manila on Tuesday.

(Out of the original 800,000 liters, it seems that like — we are still validating this — 300,000 close to 400,000 liters is left)

READ: Oil leak continues 22 days after tanker submerged off Oriental Mindoro

Balilo said the PCG is bolstering its efforts to retrieve the remaining fuel in the tanker.

“Kinukuha natin yung oil, marami naman tayong nakuha. So ang operations natin would be again focused dun sa mga natitira pang oil nang di na siya tumagas pa.“ Balilo added.

(We are retrieving the oil, in fact, we’ve got a lot already. Our operations would be focused on the remaining oil to further prevent leakage.)

Balilo said that one of its options is to use a remotely operated underwater vehicle to get rid of the oil in the remaining tankers.

READ: Sunken oil tanker found off Pola with ROV help

To date, the PCG said it collected a total of 10,163 liters of oily water and 123 sacks of oil-contaminated material in its off shore operations from March 1 to 17.

Oil spill ensued after MT Princess Empress sank on February 28 in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro after having engine trouble due to rough sea condition.

The spillage reached as far as Verde Island in Batangas and Taytay town in Palawan. — MJ Soriano, trainee


Authorities collect 10,000 liters of oil-water mixture during oil spill cleanup

Submerged oil tanker in Oriental Mindoro lacked permit to operate — report