Exxon Valdez tanker sold to Indian company

by Nickalas Tabbert

The notorious Exxon Valdez tanker, responsible for one of the worst oil spills in U. S. history two decades ago, was sold to an Indian company and likely to be scrapped.

Best Oasis Ltd. would not disclose the price of the purchase, the Star Tribune said.  The company buys old ships to dismantle them, reuse salvagable material and discard the rest.

"I can confirm that Best Oasis has bought the tanker, but can give no details til we take delivery of it," said Gaurav Mehta, a company official.

The ship has been converted to an ore carrier known as the Oriental Nicety, he said.  The ship, now 26 years old, has been renamed five times.

(Photo courtesy of Rob Stapleton, Associated Press)


The spill that made the tanker famous occurred on March 24, 1989, when it crashed into rocks, spreading millions of gallons of crude oil throughout the ecologically sensitive Prince William Sound in Alaska.  The spill caused incalculable environmental damage and demolished the fishing industry in the area, the Tribune said.

Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp., spent $900 million in restitution in a 1991 settlement and is battling more litigation from the spill.