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

Search filters

The tanker owners' perspective on oil spill response (1997)

The occurrence of major oil spills with costly and far-reaching effects has created the need for cooperation between different countries, and between government and industry. The aim of this paper is to review, from a shipping perspective, the role of industry in dealing with oil pollution incidents arising from the transportation of oil.

Categories: Papers , Spill Response

Read more

Country Profiles: A summary of oil spill response arrangements and resources worldwide (1999)

To assist shipowners comply with their requirements under the international conventions ITOPF has produced a series of Country Profiles, available to all via the Internet, allowing users to obtain a quick snapshot of national response arrangements.

Categories: Papers , Spill Response

Read more

The ITOPF perspective (2002)

This paper reviews some of the commonly experienced lessons to be learned during oil spill response. From an ITOPF perspective, good management and co-ordination is the key to a successful response.

Categories: Papers , Spill Response

Read more

Oil spill preparedness and response : Expectations & realities (2010)

Against a background of reducing oil spills from tankers, maintaining oil spill preparedness and response is a challenge.This paper highlights the evolution of expectations and realities in preparedness and response over time.

Categories: Papers , Spill Response, Contingency Planning & Advice

Read more

Information document – the role of ITOPF (2011)

This information document is offered to delegates in order to provide some background to the origin of ITOPF and its role in supporting the P&I Clubs and the IOPC Funds following incidents. It provides a description of ITOPF's funding and its objectivity in spill response and preparedness.

Categories: Papers , Spill Response, Damage Assessment, Contingency Planning & Advice

Read more

The Sea Empress oil spill in context (1998)

The grounding of the Sea Empress in February 1996 followed the wrecks of the Braer in January 1993 (84,700 tonnes of oil spilled) and the Torrey Canyon in March, 1967 (119,000 tonnes). Volume of oil lost, however, is not necessarily the most important factor in determining the seriousness of a particular incident.

Categories: Papers , Spill Response

Read more

The Sea Empress oil spill: Environmental impact and recovery (1999)

72.000 tonnes of light crude oil were released from the Sea Empress at the entrance to Milford Haven, South Wales over a 7 day period in February 1996, in an area of exceptional environmental value for wildlife, tourism and natural beauty. Natural factors coupled with effective clean-up at sea and on shore, minimised environmental impact.

Categories: Papers , Environmental effects, Spill Response, Wildlife

Read more

The EVOIKOS and PONTOON 300 incidents - the Technical Adviser's perspective (1998)

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.

Categories: Papers , Spill Response

Read more

Recent activities of ITOPF, the AMORGOS incident and considerations of NEBA (2002)

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.

Categories: Papers , Spill Response

Read more

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.

Categories: Papers , Spill Response

Read more