Egyptian shipping authorities on Sunday said the tankers collided a day earlier in an area about 14 nautical miles from the Egyptian port of Dumiatt due to high winds.

The ships were naned as the Genmar Kestrel, a tanker carrying the flag of the Marshall Islands, and the Singapore-flagged Trigata.

The official Middle East News Agency said 1000 tonnes of oil spilled from the Genmar Kestrel, while 500 tonnes had spilled from the Trigata.

It was not immediately clear how much either vessel was carrying, or their capacity.

Efforts to control the slick had already begun and an official from the Suez Canal authority said it had sent a tugboat to track its movement.

In December, the Suez Canal authority contained a slick in the strategic waterway caused by a leak from a damaged Kuwaiti oil tanker.