Shell is considering a self-imposed ban on single-hulled tankers for cargoes coming through the Bosphorus from the Black Sea. "They're considering demanding double-hulls on any tankers they charter for their cargoes through the Bosphorus," said one London broker. "They'd also insist on double hulls for any tankers coming from the Bla have to be double-hulled."
Brokers said that although Shell had a limited presence in the Black Sea, it was expected to expand in coming years. They said BP Amoco, Chevron and TotalFina all had a major presence there. Collisions and shipwrecks are not uncommon in the Bosphorus, a narrow passage winding through Turkey's largest city Istambul and on which commercial vessels are guaranteed free passage during peacetime under the 1936 Montreux Treaty.
The most recent collision was on February 18, when two bulk carriers
left the Ahirkapi anchorage simultaneously, leading to the loss of one vessel, the Robel. Less than a month before that, two other cargoships
, the Kaptan Cavit and the Nadya, collided on January 21. Double-hulls do not give tankers total
protection against oil spillage
in the event of a collision or grounding, but they do minimise pollution from minor incidents, shipping sources said. - (Reuters)