Spill Notification Point
Tel: +973 17 727447/719404
Fax: +973 17 727985
Competent National Authority
General Directorate of Environment & Wildlife Protection
Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources Environment & Wildlife PO Box 18233 Bahrain Mall Manama
Tel: +386 1 471 3322
Fax: +973 17 386556/920213
Ministry of Interior Kingdom of Bahrain
Tel: +973 17 340575 or Mob: +973 39455778
Fax: +973 17 243827
The Environment Control Directorate (PMEW) is responsible for spill response and for the development, maintenance and implementation of the National Contingency Plan.
Spill response is undertaken by various agencies according to the geographical location of the spill and available resources. The Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO), the Ministry of Works, Power and Water, and the Directorate General of Ports would be responsible for spills at their own facilities as well as protecting adjacent sensitive resources in the event of spills from other sources.
The head of the Chemical and Occupational Pollution section of the PMEW would initiate the response. In the case of larger spills, an Oil Spill Technical Advisory Committee would be established, comprising seven permanent members and a number of co-opted members from a wide range of ministries which would be involved in an oil spill incident.
Responsibility for shoreline clean-up would be shared by the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF), the Ministry of the Interior (MoI), the Public Works Directorate and the municipalities, together with local contractors.
The primary priority is to prevent oil from reaching the shoreline. Thus at-sea containment and recovery is the preferred method but is somewhat restricted by the presence of extensive areas of shallow water near the coast. Dispersants on the ROPME list of approved dispersants are the only ones which are permitted to be used. It is understood that both the Directorate General of Ports and BAPCO routinely use small amounts of dispersants on minor spills. In the event of a major spill, dispersants would not be used in the vicinity of mariculture grounds or shorelines, especially near to seawater intakes for power and desalination plants.
The general policy with regard to shoreline clean-up is to avoid causing more damage through clean-up than the oil itself, and, as a result, low amenity use or lightly polluted areas may be left to recover naturally. However, areas of high recreational value would be subject to intensive protection and clean-up effort.
Any clean, liquid oil could be recycled at the BAPCO refinery. Other oily debris may be incinerated, either by the municipalities or the oil companies. There is also a municipal landfill site which may receive lightly oiled material. There are currently no hazardous waste dumps in Bahrain.
The government has a substantial stockpile of boom, skimmers and absorbent material. There is currently no organised regime for maintenance and routine exercising. Government would call upon industry resources in the event of a larger spill. Supplementary resources can be requested by the government through the Marine Emergencies Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC), also in Bahrain
Vessels for at-sea response would be provided by the Directorate of Ports, the Coast Guard and BAPCO. Aerial surveillance would be provided by the air wings of the BDF and the MoI. Vessel surveillance would be provided by the Coast Guard.
The Public Works Directorate maintains heavy earth-moving equipment for shoreline clean-up.
BAPCO has a considerable stock of equipment at its Sitra Refinery facility and wharf. This includes dispersant and vessel-mounted spraying equipment, boom, sorbents and skimmers. The company is a member of the Regional Clean Sea Organisation (RECSO) (formerly known as GAOCMAO) and may request assistance from other member companies in the Gulf region.
The Directorate General of Ports has offshore boom and skimmers and can also provide vessels for spill response. Some of the equipment is under the control of the Ministry of Works, Power and Water, located at the Sitra power station to protect the seawater intake, and adjacent sea water desalination plants.
Previous Spill Experience
Bahrain has experienced several spills, including two larger spills which occurred outside Bahrain’s waters but which reached its coast under the influence of wind and currents. The first was from the Ras Tanura loading facility in Saudi Arabia in 1980 and the second resulted from Iraqi attacks on the Iranian Nowruz field in 1983.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
- Kuwait Convention (with countries bordering the Gulf), administered by the Regional Organisation for the
- Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME), based in Kuwait, via MEMAC, based in Bahrain.
Date of issue: December 2011