- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
ASA, a U.S.-based environmental technology solutions company, is providing computer models and simulations to China’s Oil Spill Emergency Response Center for monitoring and forecasting spilled oil from the worst oil spill in South Korean history.
On Dec. 7, 2007, the oil tanker Hebei Spirit, anchored 60 miles south of Seoul, was pierced by a crane-carrying barge, releasing 10,500 metric tons of crude oil into the sea. The oil came ashore along a 186 mile stretch of Korea’s west coast, a region that is a very active with fisheries. The spill resulted in blackened beaches, birds coated in oily tar, and cast a foul smell over a nature reserve.
Korea’s neighbors in China offered support to Korea based on the United Nations Environment Program’s Northwest Pacific Action Plan. The company’s Oilmap oil spill modeling response system is used in China and the Oil Spill Emergency Response Center of China’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) asked the company for support. Xiongping Zhang, Ph.D., the company’s Asia project director, provided modeling services to predict the trajectory and fate of the spill.
Days after the completed model, an Envisat satellite image released by European Space Agency showed the extent of the oil and confirmed the accuracy of the prediction; this remotely-sensed observation provided added confidence to MSA’s response planning strategy.
China and Japan also sent 100 tons of dispersant and experts under a U.N. emergency response plan to help South Korea mitigate the spill. A joint United Nations/European Commission assessment team has found that the prospects for environmental rehabilitation after the spill are good due to “quick and effective action” by the Korean and other authorities. Visit www.asascience.com.