Downward trend in tanker spills continues

18 January, 2017

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Over half-way into this decade and the downward trend in oil spills from tankers continues. The average number of large oil spills from tankers, i.e. greater than 700 tonnes, has progressively reduced and since 2010 averages 1.7 per year.

In 2016, one tanker incident which resulted in a spill of greater than 700 tonnes of gasoline and diesel was recorded in the Gulf of Mexico. ITOPF attended this incident on site and provided technical advice in support of the response on behalf of the shipowner and his insurers. Four medium-sized spills (7-700 tonnes) of fuel oil were also reported in 2016.

The total amount of oil lost to the environment through tanker incidents in 2016 was approximately 6,000 tonnes, 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.

Further information is available on our statistics page.

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