‘Sabotaged’ Tanker AMJAD Reportedly Leaked Oil in Gulf of Oman
May 24: New reports suggest that a sizeable oil slick developed in waters where tankers were damaged off Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 12 May.
Finnish company Iceye says one of its radar satellites detected a long trail leading from the Saudi-flagged vessel AMJAD two days later. The radar image on this page was captured by Iceye’s X2 spacecraft on 14 May.
The analysis cannot state how much oil was present on the water, but the interpretation has been validated by Kongsberg Satellite Services, a Norwegian company with expertise in oil slick detection.
“Oil on top of seawater is visible on radar satellite imaging because it changes the way the water surface reflects radio waves,” explained Iceye CEO Rafal Modrzewski. “Oil forms a layer on top of the seawater. This changes the water’s viscosity, flattening and making the surface smoother. As a result, oil on water appears on the image as a dark patch,” he stated.
The AMJAD was reported to be empty of crude so the leak could well be engine fuel.