And in 2011, by now known as the Oriental Nicety, she was sold for $16 million to an Indian demolition company, Priya Blue Industries. The same company had attracted bad press in 2006 for breaking down a ship called the Blue Lady, despite knowing that she contained asbestos. Activists claimed that the Oriental Nicety, too, was contaminated with asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls, a persistent organic pollutant. The Indian Supreme Court forbade docking of the ship and imposed an environmental audit.
So the Oriental Nicety sat on death row for two months, costing her owner $10 million as the value of its steel declined and the company continued to pay its crew.
Last month, the court ruled in favour of Priya Blue: there was no toxic waste on the ship. The Oriental Nicety is welcome to beach at Alang, the world's largest ship-breaking yard, where she will be dismantled for scrap. But as with so many things in the story of the Exxon Valdez, the end will be drawn out. It will take 500 workers four months to dismember her carcass.