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Documents & Guides
Explore a variety of topics about marine spills, response and compensation matters in the pages below.
Each topic and area of interest provides access to more detailed documentation that is freely downloadable.
This includes our 17 Technical Information Papers which are fully illustrated with photos and diagrams and are available in several languages.
What happens to oil in the marine environment over time when spilled at sea? How do different factors such as volume and physical and chemical properties affect the fate of oil spills?
How does oil impact seabirds, plankton, sea mammals and the shoreline?
Which industries might suffer temporary economic losses and loss of market confidence?
What are the specific chemical response strategies for responding to a Hazardous and Noxious Substance spill, and what are the potential effects on human and marine life?
What information is needed for an effective oil spill contingency plan? How can aerial observation and protective strategies assist with response operations?
What techniques are available for cleaning up oil at sea and on the shoreline?
What planning and waste management systems need to be put in place to reduce the volume of oily waste for treatment or disposal?
What legal arrangements and sources of compensation are available for a spill from a ship?
Explore the resources
During a storm on 29 December 1999 the Russian tanker VOLGONEFT 248 broke in two in the Sea of Marmara, off Istanbul, Turkey and spilled 1,578 tonnes of Heavy Fuel Oil. Most of the oil was cast ashore, and was subsequently cleaned up manually, whilst the remaining oil sank in shallow water.
The oil spills from the tanker EVOIKOS off Singapore and the barge PONTOON 300 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were major incidents which severely tested response arrangements in the two countries.
Learning from previous oil spill experiences is very important if predictions are to be made about the possible outcomes of following a particular response strategy in the aftermath of a new incident.
Evaluation of the response by specialised foreign vessels to the release of oil from PRESTIGE (2005)
Following the spill of oil from PRESTIGE, Spain and Portugal called for resources to assist in the response. Over the following month, a major fleet was assembled with sixteen vessels from eight nations. Although a significant volume of oil was subsequently collected at sea the vessels experienced varying degrees of success.
Following the sinking of the tanker PRESTIGE in the Atlantic Ocean in 2002, a consortium headed by the Spanish oil company, REPSOL, designed and implemented a system for the removal of 13,000 tonnes of the vessel's remaining cargo of heavy fuel oil from a depth of some 3,650 metres, some 170 nautical miles off the Spanish coast.
Following the technical triumph of removing most of the oil from the sunken wreck of the PRESTIGE, interest and expectations have been raised in equal measure.
In April 2007 the 1500 passenger cruise ship SEA DIAMOND was involved in a tragic incident which resulted in the loss of two lives and the sinking of the vessel near the Greek island of Santorini.
The NAKHODKA oil spill was undoubtedly the most significant marine oil pollution incident to have occurred in 1997, and the most serious tanker spill ever in Japan.
In April, 2007 the cruise ship SEA DIAMOND ran aground and sank off the Greek island of Santorini.The following paper picks up the story, 3 years on, looks at the current situation, compares it in a qualitative way to other cases around the world, and reviews some of the options that have been suggested in different quarters.
Over the years, ITOPF has regularly attended incidents in relatively remote locations with limited response capacities and/or limited contingency planning arrangements in place.