Planning, Not Technology, Is Key To Spill Avoidance

Friday, September 03, 1999
Good planning, and not super high technology is the key to fighting tanker oil spills, Ian White, managing director of London-based International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Ltd. said last week. "There are technological limitations as to what you can do (to control oil spills). Once the oil gets out, then you have a problem." He said in a speech most spills from tankers occurred during routine operations such as loading, discharging and bunkering. But bigger spills involving more than 700 tons have resulted from collisions and groundings, he said. "You can use booms and skimmers to concentrate the oil, pick it up and remove it, but it tends to be quite inefficient, especially if the weather is not good," White said. The other approach is to use chemical dispersants to speed up the process, whereby the oil would be diluted and broken down. "But even if you use both techniques, if the wind and the currents are towards shore, some oil will come ashore." White said the speed and relative importance of the processes depends on factors such as the quantity and type of oil, the prevailing weather and sea conditions, and whether or not the oil remains at sea or was washed ashore. While bunker spills tend, on average, to be relatively small they could still cause great problems, White said. "The main issue in dealing with oil spills is not how much equipment you've got, but whether you've got a good contingency plan and good organization and management in the response," White said. "It's not really a high-tech business. Oil is just a lot of mucky stuff in the wrong place and people try to make it sound far too scientific and technical." The effectiveness of spill management could also have major implications for overall costs of oil spill clean-up operations. In one oil spill incident where an estimated 300,000 liters of oil leaked into Sydney Harbor early in August, insurers of the ship paid the Sydney Ports Corporation an $5.2 million bond to cover the cost of the clean-up and any possible fines. "Generally speaking, human error is a very large cause of most (tanker) accidents unfortunately. Not just in this region, but everywhere," White said. "Even if you have the technology, sometimes people make rather basic mistakes."
Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Kenya Charges 9 Foreigners over Heroin Haul

Nine foreign nationals were charged in a Kenyan court on Thursday with trafficking the biggest ever single seizure of drugs at the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa.

Former MSC Manager Sentenced on Bribes Charges

Former Afloat Programs Manager at the United States Navy Military Sealift Command (MSC), Kenny E. Toy, was sentenced to 96 months in prison for receiving bribes, the U.

FERC Approves Freeport LNG Export Project

U.S. federal regulators on Wednesday approved construction of Freeport LNG Development LP's liquefied natural gas export project in Texas. Freeport is the third U.

Offshore

Fugro Achieves Innovation through Integration

When Aberdeen-based Diamond Offshore wanted to add new functionality to the existing helideck monitoring system on the Ocean Guardian drilling rig in the North Sea,

BMT ARGOSS Awarded OHSAS 18001

BMT ARGOSS, an operating company of BMT Group Ltd. has been awarded the universally recognized standard for occupational health and safety, BS OHSAS 18001. BMT ARGOSS,

Transocean Prices Initial Public Offering

Transocean Partners LLC, a Marshall Islands limited liability company formed by Transocean Ltd., has announced  the pricing of its initial public offering of 17,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1256 sec (8 req/sec)