January 18 - BRASIL - At least 130,000 gallons of crude oil spewed out of a broken pipeline, polluting beaches and endangering plant and animal life in what authorities called the worst ecological disaster to hit Rio de Janeiro state in a decade. The oil covered at least three miles of coastline, affecting at least two beaches and a mangrove swamp rich in animal and plant species.
January 24 - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - The Honduran-flagged cargo vessel Al Jazya 1 sank 4 miles east of Abu Dhabi's coast, laden with 980 tons of fuel oil. The tanker sank in bad weather, leaving an oil spill of around 2000 feet by 400 feet. The Federal Environmental Agency said it is still too early to assess the extent of damage caused by the slick on marine life and birds.
February 2 - BOLIVIA - A flash flood broke a crude oil pipeline, spilling hundreds of barrels of oil into the Desaguadero River that flows into Lake Poopo, the government reported. The pipeline is operated by Transredes, which sent several experts to help contain the oil and assess the damage it is causing to a river inhabited by pink flamingoes and other birds. The oil spill had reached Aymara Indian communities located dozens of miles downriver, and is expected to reach Lake Poopo shortly.
February 2 - PHILIPPINES - After running aground on January 24th on the coast of Sual town in Lingayen Gulf, the Singapore-owned vessel MV Nol Schedar was suspected to have left behind an oil slick after she was floated on February 2nd. The spill was later said to have destroyed 2,700 metres of coral reefs and other marine resources, and the case is pending in court.
February 7 - BRAZIL - Brazilian authorities scrambled to avert an environmental disaster in the Amazon jungle, after a barge holding nearly 500,000 gallons (1.8 million liters) of oil sunk to the bottom of the world's largest river network. "Environmental advisers are working alongside diving teams to prevent ecological damage," said Mauricio Andres Ribeiro at Brazil's environment ministry.
April 1 - INDONESIA - About 160.000 kilolitres of crude oil leaked out from the tanker "King Fisher", after it hit a reef while approaching the Pertamina port in Cilacapan, at the Southern coast of Central Java. One thousand people are involved in cleaning up more than 25 km of shoreline, including popular tourist areas.
April 7 - UNITED STATES - Some 111,000 gallons of oil spilled near Pepco's Chalk Point Generating Station, affecting shorelines of the Patuxent River in southern Maryland. Some 6 1/2 miles of oil containment booms were positioned in the river and at the entrance to several creeks, and an estimated 80,000 gallons of spilled oil were recovered in 24-hour-a-day operations since the leak occurred.
June 23 - SOUTH AFRICA - Environmentalists were scrambling to rescue thousands of jackass penguins from an oil spill off Cape Town, just six years after the population was devastated by a similar disaster. The oil spill began when the bulk carrier Treasure carrying some 1,400 tonnes of oil sank off the coast of Cape Town. The spill is washing straight into Robben Island, home to about 5,700 pairs of jackass penguins.
July 6th - UNITED STATES - 14.000 gallons of oil has spilled from a collision between a barge and a tug that was towing it, off Middletown, Rhode Island. A ban on fishing is in effect in one of the most fertile areas of Narragansett Bay, and it's only been four years since the worst oil spill in Rhode Island history, when 828-thousand gallons spilled, killing more than ten (m) million lobsters and prompting a ban on fishing for five months.
July 16th - BRAZIL - The country is suffering one of its worst oil spills ever, as more than 1 million gallons of crude has leaked from a refinery into a river near the southern city of Curitiba. State-run oil company Petrobras said a pipe broke, spewing oil for up to two hours into the Barigui River, a tributary of the Iguacu River, 390 miles upstream from Iguacu Falls, a major tourist attraction. Television images showed a completely blackened river winding through the countryside.
July 25th - BRAZIL - A large oil slick again spread over Rio's postcard-famous Guanabara Bay on Tuesday, the third oil spill there this year. The slick was broken up in patches across an area of more than 20 square miles, environmentalists said. It washed up on beaches within the bay, and stretched out into the open sea.
August 1 - CANADA - Residents of the town of Chetwynd were told to conserve water , as officials surveyed the damage from a massive oil spill into a pristine river in northern British Columbia. Chetwynd stopped pumping water from the Pine River as the first traces of the estimated 264,600 gallons (one million liters ) of crude oil spilled in a pipeline break on Tuesday reached the community of about 3,000 people. The heavy oil had also begun killing some of the river's fish, which are a key food supply for eagles and other wildlife in the region.
August 8 - UNITED STATES - U.S. Coast Guard investigators boarded ships in Miami and Port Everglades, trying to determine which crew dumped oil off the South Florida coast, creating the area's worst oil spill in at least a decade. The oil contaminated 15 miles of beach, and all beaches along the 15-mile stretch were closed when the oil was discovered. Some endangered and threatened sea turtles are about to hatch, and oily debris block their path to the ocean.
September 2 - MALAYSIA - A major cleanup is underway following an oil spill from a sunken Chinese cargo ship at Tanjung Po anchorage point at the Sarawak River mouth. The ill-fated 5,000 ton Kingston registered vessel Double Brave was loaded with about 116 tons of diesel oil when it sank after a collision with a barge being towed by a tugboat. About 60 workers from the Marine Department, Department of Environment, and the Kuching Port Authority had been helping in the clean-up operation.
September 4 - GREECE - Greek authorities raced against time to prevent an environmental disaster, following a fuel oil spill from a sunken cargo ship off a popular stretch of tourist beaches northeast of Athens. Miles of coastline was threatened by the spill, which came from the Cambodian-registered cement carrier Eurobulker X. The 35,264 dwt vessel broke in half a week earlier, while loading cement at Lefkandi port, central Greece. It was the second spill inside a week, following a smaller spill from a grounded freighter off the island of Kythira.
September 14 - UNITED STATES - Wind and high waves spread a 30,000-gallon oil spill across Sandy Hook Bay, thwarting efforts to contain and clean up the mess. An overnight storm upset booms that had been set out to contain the fuel, which spilled when a tugboat put a 4-foot gash in a Navy ship, the USS Detroit. Navy Cmdr. Chuck Caudill said the oil was so dispersed that Navy skimmers could not pick up measurable amounts. The spill is one of the largest ever in the bay, and the state has banned harvesting of shellfish in the area until further notice.
October 2 - SWEDEN - Swedish environmentalists are warning that an oil spill could harm seals in the Baltic Sea's Gotska Sandoen national park, as park rangers discovered an oil belt about 12 miles long. Big lumps of oil had covered about 90 percent of the beaches of Gotska Sandoen, an island about 60 miles off the southeastern coast of Sweden. The Swedish coast guard was investigating the source of the spill, and it was not known how many gallons of oil spilled.
October 4 - INDONESIA - An estimated 7.000 tons of oil has been spilled in Indonesian waters off the Batu Berhanti Beacon, after a Panama registered tanker, Natuna Sea, ran aground damaging 4 of its cargo tanks. An oil boom of 300 m length has been deployed around the tanker, but this could not prevent the oil from escaping in a South-westerly direction. Some patches of the oil have since reached Singapore, and clean-up actions have, amongst others, commenced on the beaches of Sentosa, Singapore's famous tourist resort.
November 4th - BRAZIL - Brazil's state oil giant Petrobras, criticized for a string of spills this year, suffered another leak when a tanker dumped 13,200 gallons of crude near a popular beach resort area, local media said. The accident caused a slick measuring some 492 feet, and posed a risk for the region's bustling beach resorts nearby.
November 14th - HONG KONG - Some 230 cubic metres of heavy oil leaked into the sea north of Hongkong's Lantau Island, after a small Chinese oil freighter collided with a Norwegian vessel
and sank. The oil slick covering an area of 10,000 square metres, and some had reached the 12-sq-km Sha Chau marine park, a dolphin sanctuary.
November 28th - UNITED STATES - A tanker spilled half a million gallons of crude oil into the Mississippi River, closing a busy shipping route for 26 miles and threatening wildlife. No injuries were reported, but some pelicans and other animals were found covered with oil. The area is home to pelicans, shorebirds, seabirds, crabs, shrimp and sport fish, as well as more than 100,000 wintering waterfowl. The 567,000-gallon spill is the largest in U.S. waters since the Exxon Valdez in March 1989.
December 15th - NORWAY - A Norwegian freighter runs aground off the city of Haugesund, spilling some 100 tonnes of fuel oil which immediately hit the nearby coastlines. Heavy weather tempers the initial response actions, but reports say some 70 tonnes have since been recovered by means of using oil skimmers. The authorities are contemplating to have the remaining 300 tonnes of oil removed from the ship, to prevent the risk of further pollution. Meanwhile, several thousand metres of oil booms have been deployed for containment and protection.