A deal that will resolve issues arising from one of the most serious US oil spills since the Exxon Valdez has been provisionally agreed between the US authorities and Ermis Maritime.

The settlement between the John Alafouzos controlled company and the US Department of Justice will resolve all outstanding matters arising from the 88,400-dwt tanker Westchester (built 1981) spilling some 2,000 tonnes of Nigerian crude after running aground in the Mississippi in November 2000.

Under the proposed consent decree Ermis will foot 100% of the bill for environmental restoration projects and future monitoring costs.