zoom An oil spill has been reported today in Whangarei Harbour, located on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, which appears to have stemmed from a system failure aboard a cargo ship, Northland’s Regional Harbourmaster says.Jim Lyle, Regional Harbourmaster for the Northland Regional Council, said authorities were alerted to the spill by Northport about 8.30am today.According to Lyle, at this stage the oil is understood to have come from a ship berthed at Northport and specialised oil containment booms had been put in place both around the vessel and to help protect the nearby coastal environment.“Due to an onboard systems failure, fuel oil appears to have escaped through the ballast system,” Lyle said.A team of several dozen responders, including regional council, Northport and Marsden Pt oil refinery staff, had been working to contain and recover what is roughly estimated to be about several hundred litres of fuel oil.Specialised equipment including boats and a purpose-built oil skimming barge ‘Taranui’ had also been deployed.Lyle said in an update that it appears the spill from the vessel was larger than initially suspected, but despite as much as several tonnes of oil potentially having escaped, authorities were confident the bulk had been recovered tonight.“As of this evening we’re confident we’ve got the bulk of the oil both from the sea and off the beach,” he explained.He estimated more than 10,000 litres of water contaminated with oil had been recovered from the sea, as well as a quantity of oil, oiled material and debris from the shoreline.As evening falls, crews were working a staged approach to remove oil from the hull of the vessel identified as the source of the spill, as well as two other ships docked alongside it.The vessel allegedly responsible had been detained by Maritime New Zealand and would only be able to leave the area subject to meeting a number of strict conditions the maritime body has imposed.The ship’s crew and agents had been co-operating with authorities.“At this stage it is too early to say what – if any – enforcement action might be taken in the wake of the incident, however, irrespective, we will be attempting to recover the full cost of the oil spill response itself.” Lyle added that the situation will be monitored overnight and checks will be made early tomorrow for any residual oil or issues.Officials had no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife, although bird recovery experts had been among those deployed as part of the response as a precaution. Local iwi had also been informed.
TORONTO — A spike in oil prices helped push the Toronto stock market sharply higher, while the loonie got a solid boost from some encouraging economic data from Ottawa.The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 121.75 points to 12,982.10, capping a fourth-straight day of gains.Much of the strength was linked to another rise in oil prices after Russia hinted that a deal to cap oil production could be reached by OPEC countries later this month.Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar have supported the idea of a cap, with the aim of boosting oil prices, but have said it is conditional on other producers participating.Canada’s economy grows more than expected, but that’s still not very muchValeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc downgraded: RBC analysts slash price target on the company by more than $100The April contract for benchmark North American crude added 65 cents to US$34.40 a barrel.Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar gained 0.65 of a U.S. cent to 74.55 cents U.S. Statistics Canada reported that the economy expanded at an annual rate of 0.8 per cent in the final three months of 2015. Economists had expected real GDP would be flat in the fourth quarter.In New York, indexes soared in the wake of a U.S. government report that construction spending reached its highest level in eight years in January, which traders saw as a strong vote in the strength of the economy.The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 348.58 points or nearly three per cent to 16,865.08, the Nasdaq composite index jumped 131.65 points to 4,689.60, while the broader S&P 500 gained 46.12 points to 1,978.35.In other commodities, April natural gas gained three cents to US$1.74 per mmBtu. May copper was also positive, rising a penny to US$2.14 a pound, while April gold gave back $3.60 to US$1,230.80 a troy ounce.