January 22 - THAILAND - A huge oil slick has hit beaches in Thailand's Rayong Bay, a popular holiday spot south-east of the capital Bangkok, and is also said to be threatening the nearby resort island of Samet. Some 100,000 litres of oil had spilled from the Panama-registered tanker Eastern Fortitude when it hit a rock in Rayong Bay a week earlier. Authorities have struggled to clean up the slick, now estimated to be at least 400 m wide and about 3 km long, but complained they were not alerted to the accident until too late.
February 8 - UNITED STATES - A ship that sank nearly 50 years ago is to blame for a mystery oil spill that has killed more than 1,300 birds since November. The Coast Guard matched oil samples taken from the SS Jacob Luckenbach, located about 17 miles southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge, to those taken from oiled birds and the oil sheen that has colored the water. Just a drop or two of oil on a bird's feathers can break the animal's insulating layer and lead to hypothermia.
February 9 - NEW ZEALAND - A major clean-up operation is under way after a cargo ship carrying more than 700 tonnes of fuel ran aground a few hundred metres from the north island port of Gisborne. Already, several tonnes of thick black oil has drifted 400 metres to shore, polluting nearby rivers, beaches and coastline and sending noxious fumes over dozens of houses. Whilst conservation staff have already rescued a number of birds affected by oil in a local creek, wildlife casualties are expected to be inevitable.
April 4 - JAPAN - A flotilla of ships has raced to contain an oil slick off Japan's western coast before it washes ashore. The 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) long spill has been slowly moving towards the coast since it bubbled to the surface from a Belize-registered cargo ship that sank four days earlier, after colliding with a fishing boat. Officials earlier said the spill would likely hit the coast, but did not know when or where.
April 6 - USA - Strong wind hampered cleanup efforts as workers tried to contain a 90,000-gallon crude oil spill off the southeast Louisiana coast. Four-foot waves made it difficult for skimmers to collect the oil, but the Coast Guard said about 6,720 gallons had been recovered. No damage to wildlife had been reported, but officials expected there to be some shoreline impact.
June 12 - SINGAPORE - A collision between Thailand-registered freighter MV Hermion and Singapore-registered bunker tanker Neptank VII has caused about 450 tonnes of marine fuel oil to spill into the south-eastern waters of Singapore. Clean-up operations by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) have largely contained the oil spill, but broken patches of oil remained visible in the Singapore Straits, and oil booms were placed off the waters of Marina Bay and Sentosa.
July 31 - ROMANIA - Tons of oil gushed into a river in southern Romania after torrential rains damaged a pipeline. The spill occurred in the Prahova River near the village of Manesti, some 50 kilometers north of the capital, Bucharest. The water damaged the pipeline near a refinery owned by a state oil company, Conpet. Authorities placed dams along the Prahova to prevent oil from spilling into the Danube River, and police guarded the area overnight to prevent people from throwing flammable objects into the river.
September 12 - SOUTH AFRICA - Salvage teams and ecologists are battling to contain a spill of oil and chemicals from a blazing cargo vessel, and to prevent tides from pushing the spill into the pristine Saint Lucia wetlands, a wildlife sanctuary nearby. Wildlife officials have warned that a serious oil spill could pollute the Umfolozi River and a nearby estuary, and damage mangroves, crocodiles, hippos and a turtle nesting area in the park. Reefs off the area are also popular among scuba divers for their wide variety of fish.
November 13 - SPAIN - Four tugs have failed in their attempts to rescue a leaking oil tanker with 77.000 tonnes of fuel aboard, which later broke in two and sank off the northwestern coast of Spain. The Prestige, Greek-owned and registered in the Bahamas, has leaked most of its cargo, and the oil is washing up on the Galician shores and approaching the coastlines of Portugal and France. All fishing activities have been banned in the area, and the incident is fast becoming one of the worst ecological disasters ever to happen.
November 23 - CHINA - A Chinese ship has collided with a Maltese-registered oil tanker, spreading an oil slick 2.5 miles by 1.4 miles across the Bohai sea. The Tianjin Maritime Bureau sent seven vessels to clean up the spill at the accident site. Preliminary inquiries indicate the Tasman Sea tanker, which was bound for Tianjin carrying 80.000 tons of oil, was anchored off the coast when the accident took place.
December 5 - SINGAPORE - A potentially disastrous crude oil spill in Singapore waters was contained to just 350 tonnes when a small general cargo vessel collided with a heavily-laden single-hulled tanker in the middle of the Singapore Straits. Two oil slicks measuring 2.5kmx300m and 2.5kmx500m were spotted in Indonesian waters off the island of Bintan.