2017 Jan 21

ITOPF: Oil Tanker Spills See Downward Trend

The downward trend in oil spills from tankers continues, according to the latest annual statistics issued by the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF).

The average number of large oil spills from tankers, greater than 700 tons, has progressively reduced and since 2010 averages 1.7 per year, according to the organization.

In 2016, one large tanker spill was recorded in the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred in September and involved cargoes of gasoline and diesel. Some 5,500 tons of oil was burnt in the explosion which sparked a fire.

In addition, four medium-sized spills (7-700 tons) of fuel oil were reported in 2016. The first was recorded in January at a port in South America, where crude oil was spilt during loading operations. The second incident was recorded in Malaysia in August and involved marine fuel oil, also spilt during loading operations. The remaining two, which both resulted in fires, were reported in the last quarter of the year in the USA and China.

The total amount of oil lost to the environment through tanker incidents in 2016 was approximately 6,000 tons, the majority of which can be attributed to the incident in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The ongoing reduction in the amount of oil spilt through accidents involving tankers is encouraging news for tanker operators and governments alike as they continue to work to improve standards of operations in sea-borne oil transportation. Today, some 99.99% of crude oil transported by sea arrives safely at its destination,” ITOPF said.


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