Due to the unique nature of this situation, the US Coast Guard is constantly evaluating and adapting its procedures to ensure the safety of the vessels at anchor and the protection of the surrounding environment, said Cmdr. Marshall Newberry, from Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach.

He added that Coast Guard watchstanders, in partnership with the Marine Exchange of Southern California, are closely monitoring each anchorage to manage the increased number of tank vessels present off the California coast.

According to Bloomberg, idle tankers off California's coastline contain as much as 20 million barrels of petroleum. This amount is almost equal to the pre-COVID-19 daily demand of the entire US. Most of them have been stationary for more than a week.

As crude oil prices have plummeted, shoreside tank farms are trying to fill up rapidly, while commodity traders are turning to floating storage in order to save up their oil for better days.

The same situation may also be found at many other large anchorages worldwide.