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Sun 4 Nov 2012 11:32 AM

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Super storm Sandy causes spill at Saudi-backed plant

Around 130 people involved in clean-up operation at Saudi Aramco JV in New Jersey

Super storm Sandy causes spill at Saudi-backed plant
(Image for illustrative purposes)

Motiva Enterprises, a joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco, said at least two diesel storage tanks were damaged in the wake of super storm Sandy at its Sewaren, New Jersey facility, leaking oil into the Arthur Kill waterway that separates New Jersey from Staten Island.

Motiva said previously deployed booms are skimming the fuel in the Woodbridge creek adjacent to where the spill occurred. The US Coast Guard said at the weekend around 130 people were taking part in a clean-up effort to clear the spilled oil.

"The exact volume of diesel oil released from the tanks will be determined when crews are able to gain safe access to the tanks," the Coast Guard told the Wall Street Journal.

The preliminary estimate of the size of the spill is 6,600 barrels, or 277,200 gallons, the report added.

Early estimates say Sandy may have caused up to US$50bn in economic damages, after shutting down the US's largest transportation system and knocking out power for millions of homes and businesses, Associated Press said.

* With Reuters

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