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New 5-year low in tanker oil spills

Half-way into this decade and the downward trend in oil spills from tankers is sustained. For the last two and a half decades the average number of incidents involving oil spills from tankers has progressively halved, with the current figures showing the lowest yet, at less than 2 per year. At a time when focus on protecting the marine environment is high, this trend should provide encouragement to tanker owners. It is also a testament to the ongoing work by industry and governments to maintain high standards of operations in sea-borne transportation. During the year, ITOPF recorded 1 large spill of bitumen (~3,000 MT) from a tanker in the South China Sea, and 4 medium spills of various oil types, totalling 5 spills of 7 tonnes and over. Interestingly, a number of tanker incidents reported in the media in 2014 involved fire and explosion, where potentially significant quantities of cargoes and bunker fuel burned. The cargoes involved included condensate, diesels and fuel oils. Major Oil Spills A brief summary of the top 20 major oil spills that have occurred since the TORREY CANYON in 1967 are shown below; it is of note that 19 of the largest spills recorded occurred before ...

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EMSA Workshop on HNS Response

ITOPF participated in the EMSA HNS workshop, held last month at EMSA headquarters in Lisbon and chaired by Berndt Bluhm, Head of Unit, Pollution Response at EMSA. A total of 28 delegates from EU Member States were present as well as nine representatives from industry (BASF, DOW Chemicals, CEDRE, CEFIC, Braemar Howells, ISU (International Salvage Union) and ITOPF). The workshop aimed to highlight the key challenges for HNS response from the point of view of the national government agencies, the chemical and salvage industries and R&D institutions. The workshop was also an opportunity for the various delegations to exchange information on recent developments in the field of HNS incident response in their respective countries, as well as progress with on-going projects, such as ARCOPOL, BE AWARE and MAR-ICE Network. The workshop also sought to familiarise the participants with the information services in place, such as MAR-ICE, and to understand their value and limitations. The workshop centred around a table top exercise with two realistic scenarios run in parallel (one container ship and one bulk carrier) which enabled Member States to evaluate how prepared they are for a significant HNS spill and to take their findings back to their respective government ...

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