Bloomberg News

New Zealand Officials Monitor Oil Slick as Ship Remains on Reef

October 05, 2011

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- New Zealand authorities are monitoring an oil slick near a container ship that is caught on a reef near the North Island port of Tauranga.

An observation flight over the area early today showed a slick of thinly spread oil streaming about 2,000 meters in a narrow strip from the ship, Maritime New Zealand said in a statement on its website. Officials are conducting an on-water assessment.

“The oil is very thin and it appears it is starting to break up and disperse naturally,” Rob Service, from Maritime New Zealand’s national response team, said in the statement.

The 236-meter (774-foot) long Rena struck the reef about 12 nautical miles off the coast early on Oct. 5, and remains stable on the rocks. Two of the ship’s holds have flooded and the ship has a slight list, although tanks containing fuel oil are undamaged, Maritime New Zealand said.

Talks are under way with the captain, the ship’s owners and salvage experts to assess how to move the ship off the reef, the agency said.

--With assistance from Chris Bourke in Wellington. Editors: Chris Bourke, Brendan Murray

To contact the reporter on this story: Tracy Withers in Wellington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at

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