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A Whale

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Whale conducting a test run of its oil skimming capabilities as part of the Deepwater Horizon response July 4, 2010.
NameCosmo Ace
OwnerOriental Fleet Tanker 19, Ltd.
  • Suntech Ship Management
  • Monarch Vessel Holdings Corporation
  • TMT Co. Ltd. (formerly Taiwan Maritime Transport Co. Ltd.), Taipei
  • Republic of China (Taiwan)
Port of registry Liberia, Monrovia
Yard number2045
Launched25 Sep 2009
In service6 Jan 2010
  • A Whale (2010–2014)
  • Madison Orca (2014–2020)
StatusActive as of 2020
General characteristics
Class and typeLloyds Register: 100A1
TypeOre-oil carrier
Tonnage319,869 DWT, 172,146 GT
Length340 m (1,120 ft)
Beam60 m (200 ft)
Draught22.3 m (73 ft)
Speed13.7 kn (25.4 km/h; 15.8 mph)

Cosmo Ace, formerly A Whale and Madison Orca,[3] is a Liberian-flagged ore-oil carrier built in 2010 by Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan, South Korea for TMT Co. Ltd. (formerly Taiwan Maritime Transport Co. Ltd.) from the Republic of China (Taiwan). She has seven other sister ships in the fleet, built in 2010-2011 and named in succession: B Whale, C Whale etc., to H Whale.[4]

Oil skimming experiments


She was refitted and converted in Portugal into a skimmer to assist in the cleanup of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico, near the Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana. The ship's owners stated that A Whale is capable of separating 300,000 to 500,000 US gallons (1,000 to 2,000 m3) of oil per day, while storing the crude and returning the processed sea water to the sea.[5]

A Whale arrived in the Gulf of Mexico on 30 June 2010, while financial agreements were yet pending.[6] However, in two weeks of testing A Whale collected virtually no oil. TMT stated that the ship's poor performance was due to the dispersion of oil in the Gulf.[7]

On July 16, the Coast Guard announced it would not be authorized to join the containment process because tests had shown that its oil skimming capabilities were "negligible" in comparison to the other more nimble and much smaller skimmers in the containment.[8]

Service history


In early 2013, the A Whale became stranded due to a technical problem off Suez. The ship's crew remained stranded for six months without pay, exacerbated by owner TMT's bankruptcy filing in June, before eventually receiving supplies and some of their backpay in July.[9] That August the ship was allegedly fired on by Libyan Marine Special Forces, according to a video posted on their Facebook page, as it attempted to enter the Es Sider terminal.[10]

In 2014 the ship was renamed to Madison Orca and transferred to Monarch Vessel Holdings Corporation. As of December 2020, operated by Suntech Maritime, it is in active service as the Cosmo Ace.[11]

See also



  1. ^ a b "Vessel's Details and Current Position: A WHALE - 9424209". MarineTraffic. 2010. Archived from the original on 3 July 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  2. ^ "A Whale". Auke Visser's International Super Tankers. 1 July 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  3. ^ "COSMO ACE, Crude Oil Tanker - Details and Current Position". VesselFinder. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Our Fleet". NOS Management. 18 June 2010. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  5. ^ McClay, Rebecca L. (4 July 2010). "BP tests Taiwanese oil-skimming ship". MarketWatch. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  6. ^ Froomkin, Dan (29 June 2010). "Gulf Oil Spill: 'A Whale' Of A Skimmer Offers Up Its Services". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 3 July 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  7. ^ "Giant 'super skimmer' no help with Gulf oil spill". Reuters. 16 July 2010. Archived from the original on 22 July 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  8. ^ ""A Whale" Operational Review Completed". Restore the Gulf. Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center. 17 July 2010. Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Flag-State Liberia Helps Out Stranded 'A Whale' Crew". Tradewinds. 12 July 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  10. ^ Libyan Forces Alleged to Have Fired at Oil Tanker. Wall Street Journal. 22 August 2013. Archived from the original on 2021-12-15.
  11. ^ "Our fleet". Suntech Maritime. Retrieved 16 December 2020.