Oil transfer begins from grounded tanker

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Kochi, Nov 18 (UNI) Nearly 15,000 tonnes of crude oil is being transferred to a smaller vessel from Oil Tanker MT 'Ratna Shalini', which ran aground outside the main channel of Cochin Port on Friday, port officials said today.

The tanker, which was carrying about 80,000 tonnes of crude oil for the BPCL-Kochi Refinery, had run aground outside the main channel of Cochin Port due to strong cross currents.

The partial transfer of oil into a smaller vessel would be completed by tomorrow morning.

The tanker was expected to come up, following which it would be brought to the port, Cochin Port Trust official Jijo Thomas said this evening.

He said shipping operations were not hampered as the major portion of the ship was outside the channel.

One mainline vessel, which is of a bigger size than normal ships, could come into the port today, he said.

Two tugs were pressed into service to prevent the tanker from shifting to shallow waters from its present position.

There was no threat of spillage as the vessel was resting on soft mud, Mr Thomas added.

UNI

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