By DANIEL J. LAWN, Environmental Engineer
February 3, 1990


The material I am about to present is an interim report on Oil Spill Prevention and Cleanup Capabilities in Northern Europe as Compared to Alaska. By this time all the experts and instant experts that appeared after the Exxon Valdez disaster are saying prevention is the answer to the oil spill cleanup problem. I doubt that there is anyone who would disagree.
However, prevention is a many faceted approach and quite frankly, it will take many months and years to totally define the best approach and implement the changes to prevent future spills. We may run out of oil long before the world accepts a unified approach to prevention, but in the mean time, we must have a very aggressive approach to oil spill cleanup. To help us develop that approach, we must look around us and see what others have done, are doing, and plan to do. By doing so, perhaps we can eliminate or reduce heading in a direction that is non productive. We are all in this boat together and we need to start rowing in the same direction so that our course is straight and true. With these thoughts in mind, let me tell you what I've found that may be of value and help Alaska set it's course. I recently went to Norway and Scotland to observe how their Governments and Oil Industry interact with oil production, transportation, spill prevention and spill cleanup. What I found was presented in a report I prepared for the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. Let me say this about that report and this presentation today, both are dynamic. In other words, the answer to today's prevention question is changing constantly as we continue to gather more information on a daily basis. I know more today, as I continue to learn from our Northern Europe neighbors, than I did at the time I prepared that trip report. As I said earlier, this is an interim report and update on that document. Let us first start by reviewing the approach to oil spill prevention and cleanup practiced by Norway and Scotland. I plan to do this with the use of visual aids such as overhead projection, the wall maps and video footage as well as the excerpts from the trip report. In addition, I will discuss the Bonn Agreement which is a treaty between eight Northern Europe Countries where they agree that they will assist each other during time of an oil spill by making available their collective oil spill combat equipment. We will look at some of their equipment and we will also take a brief look at cleanup capabilities in the Western U.S.S.R. and other pertinent information that was presented in the 1989 Oil Spill Conference in San Antonio, Texas last February. There is a lot of material to cover in this short time, but I hope this overview gives you an idea of what's happening in an area whose geographic size is approximately the size of the State of Alaska. Looking at oil spill cleanup in Northern Europe you first must realize that they approach an oil spill as if it were war. Within minutes, they are required to respond by sending massive quantities of equipment to the spill site. The first few hours of the spill containment and cleanup decide whether or not you will be successful. To reduce response times, they have put boom and skimmers on tugs that escort or assist tankers to and from the terminals. They also have dredges, that are continually working in the ports and harbors, that have been retrofitted to be high capacity skimmers. In essence, they have taken their vessels of opportunity (which have other reasons to be there) and made them also immediate response crafts. This certainly reduces the standby operating costs while increasing response vessels.



  1. Regulatory Authority and Responsibilities
    • 1. The Norwegian Government has a very committed attitude to protect the environment while developing their oil resources. To do this they have (i) central acts and regulations issued through Royal Decrees and (ii) regulations and guidelines issued pursuant to the central laws and regulations. [Figure 1]
      Norway's main philosophy is "the one doing the activity is responsible for their actions". All industry accepts this. However Norway does not leave it with industry's promise to perform. Norway has developed several ministries and organizations that regulate the oil industry from the oil spill prevention and response perspectives. All of Norway's resources for cleanup response are available to combat an oil spill. Each and every oil spill training exercise includes industry, NPD,SPCA, local authorities and the Navy. [Figure 2]
    • 2. To implement their laws on the national level, prevention side, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) is ascribed authority related to the supervision of exploration, research drilling and surveys for natural resources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. There are also other National Ministries who regulate the oil industry from the spill prevention side. [Figure 3] The NPD was set up in 1973 as the Regulatory Authority for work on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The NPD's area of influence is 56N - 88N. In the early days of the NPD the operators had no requirement to have their facilities in compliance prior to an inspection. Now the operator is required to have an extensive QA/QC Plan (thanks to a 1985 Royal Decree) and their facilities must be in compliance at the time of inspection. The NPDS also has stockpiles of cleanup equipment that are available to supplement cleanup activities should the spiller need additional equipment.
    • 3. On the national pollution response side, the State Pollution Control Authority is assigned the role of Norway's On-Scene Coordinator. In that role they oversee the spiller's cleanup response, provide technical assistance and direct the spiller to take appropriate action if necessary. [Figure 4]
      They are also charged with protecting Norway's coast. To do this there is an extensive network of people and equipment located at 12 depots along the Norwegian Coast. Total cleanup capacity is 15,000 bbls/hr. At each depot there are 10 people assigned on an "on-call" basis. The state training and inspection center located at Horten has a staff of 15 who oversee the large warehouse of cleanup equipment and provide training for the NPD, industry, local authorities as well as the in-house needs. SPCA's annual oil pollution budget is $3,000,000 for operation and for new equipment there is an additional $1,500,000, all of which is funded from Norway's general tax assessments. The SPCA equipment and personnel are available to supplement any response effort the spiller takes.
    • 4. On the local level is the "Regional Oil Pollution Control Committee", an inter-municipal organization which consists of cooperating communities located within a particular region usually around the perimeter of a port or fjord where there is oil shipping activities. [Figure 6]
      Each municipality is required to have necessary staff and equipment ready to prevent damage from small oil spills which may occur within its sea area or coastline. Their equipment and personnel are likewise available to the spiller to supplement the spiller's response. Each municipality also has a plan for oil spill protection. In addition to the mentioned "First Aid" equipment and local staff required for each community, the inter-municipal committee has a common oil spill emergency center in each region, with considerable equipment and also trained staff available on short notice. Funding for cleanup equipment and setting up each municipal response organization was provided 50% by the Norwegian Parliament with the balance by the local municipalities. All costs of cleanup is reimbursed by the spiller.
    • 5. The Norwegian Navy also has vessels, personnel and cleanup response equipment that participates in spill response as well as training exercises with industry.
  2. The Oil Industry's Attitude
    • 1. The oil industry in Norway seems to have a very cooperative attitude. This, in part, may be due to the fact that some oil companies such as Statoil (100%) and Norsk Hydro (49%) are owned in total or part by the Norwegian government. In addition the pipelines from the offshore fields and the major oil shipping terminals are owned in total or part by Norway. Many of the offshore fields are operated by the Norwegian owned oil companies or partnerships that include them. Those fields that are operated by multi-national oil companies are quick to comply with all requirements. Another major factor contributing to the oil industry's "cooperative" attitude is strong laws and regulations enforced by NO NONSENSE STRONG REGULATORS. They do not bend to the wishes or lobbying efforts of the oil industry. To this end, the oil companies are ready to comply with all regulatory requirements and to do so in a very open and agreeable way.
  3. Offshore Exploration and Production
    • 1. All offshore exploration and production facilities (which by the way are 100 miles off shore, not on their coast as here in Alaska) are required to have state of the art oil spill contingency equipment. Norway's offshore fields have a total combined production of 1,500,000 bbls/day which is less than 3/4 of Alaska's. All of the drilling and production companies, whether they be multi-national oil companies, state owned oil companies or partnerships of different combinations of both, must have adequate cleanup capability.
    • 2. In addition to their own individual oil spill contingency plans in order to accomplish the government mandated requirements, the oil companies have formed a cleanup cooperative called Norsk Oljevernforening for Operatoselskap hereafter called NOFO. On behalf of, and together with, the operating companies NOFO looks after the authorities' requirements for oil spill contingency. The association handles this task by having prepared a special contingency plan for mobilization and operation of the jointly-owned resources. [Figure 7] NOFO has, in addition, set up depots of equipment and engaged personnel and vessels that are on permanent standby. In the event of an uncontrolled oil spill, any member of NOFO has access to the association's resources as part of its overall contingency scheme. This enables the operating companies to take action at short notice.
    • 3. The thirteen sisters; AMOCO, ESSO, Shell, Norsk Hydro, BP, TOTAL, CONOCO, ELF, SAGA, MOBIL, Statoil, Phillips, and Norsk Agip, each have the requirement to be able to handle an uncontrolled blowout of 60,000 bbls/day in 3 meter seas with a 1.5 knot current. To accomplish this each platform must have skimming capacity standing by to respond to, [Figure 8] contain and pick up a minimum of +/- 600 bbls/hr all within 2 hours while the NOFO equipment is enroute. Also, since there is more than one platform in each field, all equipment from each platform is available. [Figure 9] The NOFO operating plan supplements the oil spill cleanup equipment that is required to be at each offshore facility. Exploration facilities, are determined to be seven (7) times more likely to have a blowout than a production facility. Exploration facilities share a bigger burden of the operating budget of NOFO and require more equipment.
    • 4. NOFO has five (5) strategically located bases along Norway's West Coast. They are located at Stavanger, Austevoll, Kristiansund, Traena and Hammerfest. At these bases are: 8,750 meters (+/-27,000 ft) of oil booms, 14 Framo NOFO Transrec combined oil recovery and transfer systems (26,500 bbls/hr), 12 sets of dispersant-spraying units, various auxiliary equipment, spare parts, etc. [Figure 10] NOFO has agreements with the operating companies covering 14 oil recovery vessels. That agreement requires that vessels, once notified, be at the NOFO base, load the equipment and be underway to the spill within two (2) hours. For spills off the coast at least 40 miles NOFO must have one response group at the spill site within 24 hours and four (4) additional groups within 48 hours. For spills closer than 40 miles the response must be much faster and with more equipment. [Figure 11] NOFO also has direct contracts covering availability of 20 towing vessels for use during oil spill operations. Most of these response vessels have other jobs within the oil industry and are immediately available on site.
    • 5. NOFO conducts several exercises each year with each oil company participating at least once but, more likely, several times. In addition to the NOFO exercises, each oil company conducts its own oil spill drills. NOFO's operating budget this year is $7,000.000 (U.S.) dollars. It will be larger next year.
  4. Oil and Gas Pipelines, Offshore Loading Buoys, Terminals and Refineries
    • 1. The gas fields in the North Sea on the Norwegian Continental Shelf are linked by several gas pipelines which allow gas from different fields to be directed to other pipelines which come ashore in England, Scotland, West Germany and Norway. In Norway, two pipelines terminate at a large terminal at Karsto on the west coast of Norway. [Wall Map]
    • 2. The oil fields in the North Sea on the Norwegian Continental Shelf are also linked by pipelines which connect with other pipelines which come ashore in England, Scotland (Sullom Voe) and Norway. Norway is connected to the oil fields by the Oseberg pipeline which crosses the Norwegian Trench some 360 meters deep.
    • 3. There are also offshore oil loading facilities in the North Sea on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. One such facility is at the Statfjord oil field where oil is stored in tanks that hold several hundred thousand barrels located on the platforms. The platforms are linked to mooring buoys which are used to load oil onto tankers at three locations. There are always multi purpose oil recovery vessels on station at all off shore facilities.
    • 4. The Karsto Terminal has a capacity of five billion cubic meters of gas per year with the possibility of expansion to eight billion cubic meters.
    • 5. The Sture Crude Terminal is a new facility which has just come on line at the terminus of the Oseberg pipeline. At present it receives about 300,000 bbls/day; once the pipeline is at full capacity it will receive 600,000 bbls/day (or 1/3 as large as the Valdez Marine Terminal). It has two berths, one of which can take 30,000 -300,000 dwt crude tankers, the other 50,000 - 150,000 dwt vessels. It has underground storage vaults carved out of bedrock with a total capacity of 700,000 cubic meters (4,410,000 bbls). Only clean, segregated ballast may be discharged into the water. Random samples are taken. Dirty ballast is treated ashore. This terminal's storage to crude throughput ratio is 1.7 times greater than at Valdez. [Figure 12] The tidal range is about three feet (not 18 - 27 feet as in Alaska) with maximum tidal current of 1.2 knots, but the average is 0.4 knots. Vessels are not allowed to dock in wind speeds in excess of 14 meters/second or 27 knots. During periods of high winds loading is stopped and the loading arms are disconnected (vessels in Valdez can transit the Narrows in winds less than 45 knots and the wind restriction at the terminal has been eliminated. It is not uncommon for tankers to load in 70 knot winds). Vessels that have a pollution incident are not allowed to leave the berth before a bank guarantee is given to cover the cost of cleanup and fines. The terminal's cleanup equipment must be able to respond to spills at the terminal within 15-20 minutes. For spills in waters adjacent to the terminal out to the entrance of the Fjords response must be within 2 hours with the capability of picking up 36,500 bbls within 24 hours. They must also be able to respond to a discharge of the "total contents" of any tanker that uses their facility (+/-2,250,000 bbls) within 6 hours. They stress prevention! To keep the oil in the tanker and the tanker off the beach tug escorts are provided to the entrance of the fjord for each laden tanker to or from the terminal, and pilots accompany all tankers to a point 4 miles offshore. Equipment at the Sture Terminal consists of two tugs; each is equipped with a Norwegian designed 500 bbls/hr Foxtail rope mop skimmer and a boom on a reel. These tugs also provide escort service. There are permanent booms installed in the water and others in houses at the waters edge where they can be immediately deployed by one of the several boom pulling vessels or other cleanup equipment. In addition they have several smaller skimmers The terminal has agreements with the local Regional Oil Pollution Control Committee which has an assortment of skimmers, booms and response equipment. In addition, the terminal is linked to contingency plan coverage by NOFO.
    • 6. The refinery at Mougstad is a new facility just coming on line. It has two berths that can handle crude carrying tankers up to 300,000 dwt. It has oil storage facilities of about 9,000,000 bbls and is expected to handle about 300 crude tankers per year. The terminal currently has a crude throughput of 600,000 bbls/day. The storage to crude throughput ratio gives them three times the holdup capacity of Valdez. It is owned and operated by Statoil. Mougstad, like the Sture Terminal, must have cleanup equipment able to respond to spills at the terminal within 15-20 minutes. For spills in waters adjacent to the terminal and out to the entrance of the Fjords response must be within 2 hours with the capability of picking up 36,500 bbls recovered within 24 hours. There must also be a response to a discharge of the "total contents" of any tanker that uses their facility (+/-2,250,000 bbls) within 6 hours. Again prevention is stressed! Escort tugs are provided to the entrance of the fjord for each laden tanker to or from the refinery and pilots accompany all tankers to a point 4 miles offshore. Equipment at the Mougstad Terminal consists of two tugs; each equipped with a Norwegian designed 500 bbls/hr Foxtail rope mop skimmer and a boom on a reel. These tugs also provide escort service. There are permanent booms, instal-led in the water and others in houses at the waters edge where they can be immediately deployed by one of the several boom pulling vessels or other cleanup equipment. In addition they have several smaller skimmers. Mougstad also has agreements with the local Regional Oil Pollution Control Committee which also has an assortment of skimmers, booms and response vessels. In addition, their terminal is linked to contingency plan coverage by NOFO.
    • 7. ESSO (Exxon) owns and operates a refinery at Harstad which accommodates tankers at least as large as 250,000 dwt. This facility, like all refineries/terminals, is required to have extensive stockpiles of cleanup equipment as well as ties to the NOFO Coop and all government cleanup resources. Frequent drills are also required. (At this time I have no additional information on this facility.)
    • 8. Norske Shell (Shell) owns and operates a refinery in Stavanger. This facility, like all refineries/terminals, is required to have extensive stockpiles of cleanup equipment as well as ties to the NOFO Coop and all government cleanup resources. Frequent drills are also required. (At this time I have no additional information on this facility).
  5. "Tactical Oil On Water Exercise"
    • 1. Part of the reason for my trip to Norway was to attend the NOFO exercise, they conduct two annually. The reason for this exercise was: - to train the Exercise Commander in oil spill operations and in tactical organization of NOFO's resources with oil on water under realistic conditions offshore. - to practice team-work between the operating company and the relevant authorities. - to test a new adhesion ban skimmer and a two-phase flow-meter. - to gain operational experience with new vessels and existing equipment.
    • 2. The operational plan included the discharge of 150 cubic meters (950 bbls) of crude oil which was to be recovered by an armada of recovery vessels. There were four offshore rig supply vessels each with a skimmer for a total skimming capability of about 8,000 bbls/hr. Each supply vessel was also equipped with about 2,500 feet of boom and accompanied by a boom towing vessel. In total, there were 14 vessels to deploy and recover the oil and equipment. The rig supply vessels, called multi-purpose safety service vessels, have speeds of 17.5 knots with all four engines. They are 230 feet long, 50 feet wide, 3,000+ tons. They have bow and stern thrusters, twin rudders, twin screws, bollard pull of 150 tons and cabins for 45 people. Equipped with every piece of navigation and communication equipment desirable, they are designed and constructed to work staying on station in any weather the North Sea can serve up and are classified as +A1-EO-Supply SF-Oil Rec-Rescue. They do it all and are classified to carry oil. In Norway, as in Scotland, there are literally hundreds of these vessels. In addition to the 14 vessels there to conduct the exercise, there was a 240 foot observer vessel with 47 observers from oil companies, equipment representatives, NOFO officials and State and Federal regulators from Norway, France, Mexico, Canada, California and Alaska's DEC representative.
    • 3. Tuesday, September 19, 1989 at 1900 hours the observer vessel departed Stavanger for the Firgg Gas Field, 100 miles off the West Coast of Norway, in the middle of the North Sea. The weather forecast was encouraging and although there were 20-knot winds and moderate seas, they were predicted to subside by early Wednesday morning. We arrived on Station early the next morning; the subsiding 20 knot winds had increased to 50 knots and the moderate seas were then 20 - 30 feet (7 - 10 meters). The encouraging forecast continued with predictions to subside by mid day. At 2300 hours Wednesday, in steady winds of 50 knots with gusts to 70 knots and seas 10 - 13 meters (30 - 40 feet) it was decided to cancel the exercise due to bad weather.
    • 4. After returning from the North Sea, I was invited to go to the Norsk Hydro offices in Bergen. Once there I was shown their extensive Oil Spill Emergency Command Center (floor plan attached) by Bjorn Holst one of their Contingency Planners. The Emergency Center is a group of rooms with individual peripheral offices, conference rooms and telephone switchboard which surround the main operating room. In it there is a command console where each desk is equipped with telephones, radios, a computer - all of which are interfaced with recorders for information storage. This console overlooks a conference table, blackboards, movable planning boards with each piece of response equipment pre listed and large screen television that also functions with an overhead projector. In addition there are extensive map racks and book-shelves with volumes of supplemental Contingency Plans and equipment lists with contact numbers of contingency equipment located throughout the world. Within 6 months they expect to have direct video link-ups with oil pollution control activities. The whole essence of the room projects the image that control of an oil spill is treated as a major priority. At present, we have no similar facility in Alaska. [Figure 13] On Wednesday 9/27/89 I attended an oil spill drill put on by NOFO as a replacement for the "Tactical Oil on Water" exercise that, due to bad weather, was not conducted. This new exercise was held about 70 kilometers north of Bergen where the Fedjefjorden (Fedje Fjord) meets the North Sea. This entrance is about equal distance from the Sture Terminal, 20 km to the south and the Mongstad refinery 20 km to the east. [Figure 14] We left Flesland Kai approximately 1 hour late due to the delayed arrival of a plane carrying 30 government observers aboard M/V Godoysund Express, a fast (45 knots) passenger charter boat. As we proceeded to the exercise site, I observed dozens of the multi-purpose service vessels at the many offshore supply bases scattered throughout the area's waterways. About 50 km out of Bergen we passed the Sture Terminal (see I.D.5). [Figure 15] When we arrived at the exercise site, the spill drill was well underway. There was an impressive assemblage of response equipment. I have not yet received a copy of the drill scenario, but it went something like this. The tanker XYZ approaching the Fjord entrance and hit a rock where it spilled mass quantities of crude. Sometime thereafter it caught fire and broke in half. The crew abandoned ship. The response equipment came from all around the spill area. The Sture Terminal sent their two tugs and other response craft with a combined recovery rate of 1000 bbls/hr. The Mongstad refinery's two tugs with a combined 1000 bbls/hr recovery rate were there also. A NOFO Transrec skimmer whose recovery rate is 2000 bbls/hr was on board a multi-purpose service vessel with attending boom pulling vessel, was present. A Navy vessel with Foxtail 500 bbls/hr skimmer was part of the exercise. There were also two other groups of vessels with skimming ability of 500 -1000 bbls/hr each. All of these vessels had deployed their boom and skimmers. They were working as groups and appeared to be well organized and efficient. There was a vessel deploying foam which was used as the oil simulant. A small coastal tanker was standing by to lighter recovered oil from all of the recovery vessels. Aerial surveillance was provided by a twin turbine aircraft with SLAR, IR and video equipment. A large Puma helicopter, which doubles as a dispersant application aircraft, was hoisting the "tanker crew from life rafts". This whole activity took place at the entrance to the Fjords, in rolling seas with waves up to 3 meters. We then moved closer to the mainland where the local Regional Oil Pollution Control Committee was busy operating their skimming equipment which included a few hundred meters of boom, a Foxtail skimmer and a belt skimmer that had the ability to pick up trash. [Figure 16] It was difficult to count all the equipment and vessels participating in the exercise; however, it appeared there was in excess of 7000 bbls/hr skimming capability provided by the 30+ boats involved in the exercise. The cost of the exercise was about $570,000 all of which comes out of the NOFO $7,000,000 operating budget for 1989. All of the vessels and equipment involved in their respective locations appeared adequate in the seas observed. This exercise was typical by the standards used in Norway in demonstrations of cleanup response for an area where the crude oil tanker traffic is less than 500,000 bbls/day at any single terminal. The oil industry in Alaska has never put on an exercise this massive and we have tanker traffic with 4 times the volume at a single terminal.
II. Scotland's Shetland Islands
  1. Regulatory Authority and Responsibilities
    • 1. The British Parliament enacted legislation in 1974 empowering the Shetland Island Council (SIC) to become the Harbor Authority. The Act called the "Zetland County Council Act of 1974" gave the council the power to regulate the oil industry at Sullom Voe by adopting "By-laws for the Port of Sullom Voe". Other British shipping laws and IMO (International Maritime Organization) Regulations were also incorporated as Laws of the Land. [Figure 17] In addition the Shetland Island Council and Oil Industry worked out 5 separate agreements which became in effect the Law under which the Sullom Voe Terminal is operated.    
      i. The Disturbance Agreement of July 11, 1974 set up a tax structure where the SIC received revenue to compensate for disruption of the Island's way of life.      
      ii. The Sullom Voe Association Agreement is still a secret but is thought to specify how the SIC and the Oil Companies interact and their relationship.      
      iii. The Port & Harbor Agreement of 1978 sets up the conditions under which the terminal's shipment of oil with tankers interacts with the local Port Authority which operates the Port of Sullom Voe. This includes a pollution indemnity clause which assesses unlimited liability to the spiller of any oil. (This agreement is 89 pages).      
      iv. Busta House Agreement of 1988 settles various financial disputes and sets forth renewal options for the Port & Harbor Agreement.      
      v. The fifth agreement requires the oil companies to issue "voyage instructions" for all tankers calling at Sullom Voe. Their instructions set forth no-go areas, including a 10-mile Exclusion Zone around the Shetland Islands for all tankers, reporting-in requirements, minimum ballast requirements (35% ballast & stores) and prohibited discharge of oily ballast within 200 miles of Shetland's Coast. The instructions are not enforced by state law but by commercial contract between the oil companies and their customers. If a tanker violates the instructions it can be "blacklisted" and refused permission to enter Shetland waters. (See II A.3.)
      All these laws set up a very strict set of operating conditions that dictate tanker movements, terminal operation and oil pollution response.
    • 2. The Port of Sullom Voe is a deep water harbor owned and operated by the Shetland Island Council as Harbor Authority. [Figure 18]
        a. The Sullom Voe Harbor Authority is in direct control of all tanker movements. That control is exercised and monitored from the Port Administration building's Port Control Room which is located on Sella Ness approximately mile directly across from the terminal's docks. It has a clear view of the port and terminal. The control center is staffed by Port Controllers who each hold an unlimited Masters Certificate to command tankers of any size in any waters

      At the Port Control Center they:

      i. operate the radio and vessel traffic system;      
      ii. provide the required tanker pilot service (by pilot boat and helicopter);      
      iii. control all tanker movements with radar tracking in the Sound and vessel position plotting as each vessel reports it's position in and out to 200 mi;      
      iv. dispatch helicopters for surveillance of all tanker movement by air;      
      v. provide and maintain navigational aids;      
      vi. dispatch personnel to inspect all tankers which includes testing of all segregated ballast;      
      vii.levy and collect fees for these and other services.

      b. Other required services in which the Port Authority is involved through joint venture or partnership {Figure 19] arrangements include:

      i. operation of the escort tugs which also dock the tankers (4 tugs per tanker - 2 of which are tractor type). The tugs make up to each tanker with hard line connection well out in the Sound, remaining made up till tanker is safely berthed. For outbound tankers the reverse is observed;      
      ii. dock space and warehousing of the terminal's oil spill response equipment is provided;      
      iii. provision of additional SIC owned pollution response equipment.   

      c. In addition to the above, the Shetland Island Council owns the jetties (berths) at the terminal. The terminal has an exclusive use contract and has also repaid the SIC for the construction of those facilities.

      d. The SIC also acts as OSC during an oil pollution response and will, when necessary, direct the terminal operator's oil pollution response.

    • 3. A test case has been settled where the Port Authorities spotter plane observed the tanker "Mahalis" dumping dirty ballast off the coast. That tanker was not allowed to enter Shetland's waters and the oil company cancelled it's contract. It is "blacklisted" and will not be allowed to call at the terminal.
  2. The Oil Industry's Attitude
    In the Shetland Islands there seems to be a more cooperative attitude within the oil industry. It may have been bred in the early days when the industry needed Shetland's Sullom Voe yet the Shetland Islanders did not need or want the oil industry's terminal. The Islanders demanded protection of their Environmental Resources. Most of their demands seem centered around keeping tankers from running aground and preventing other oil spills. This hard bargaining produced results. The Industry complied and as a result has had very few oil spills.
  3. The Terminal at Sullom Voe
    The terminal began shipping crude in December, 1978. It is operated by British Petroleum for a consortium of oil companies. It receives crude oil containing gas liquids via two pipelines from the North Sea oil fields some 100 miles to the east. Those pipelines have a total combined capacity of 1.2 million bbls/day, although the terminal for the last few years has transported approximately 1,000,000 bbls/day ( the size of Alyeska). There are sixteen storage tanks of 600,000 bbls each. Their storage to crude throughput ratio gives them twice the holding capacity of the Valdez Marine Terminal. Oil spill equipment consists of a number of response craft and skimmers of several types. They have decided that they are prepared to respond to a 15,000 bbl spill with the equipment at the facility. For larger spills additional equipment would be required. Major stockpiles of equipment are located within 24 hours response time. The main philosophy is spill prevention; consequently they have implemented tight control over tanker movement. Their unannounced daily overflights and strict NO POLLUTION ALLOWED policy makes the difference.
III. Comments on Additional Spill Response Equipment
  1. Agreements Between Countries
    There are several other agreements between neighboring countries where adjoining states help each other. Many countries have committed to responding within two hours with enough cleanup equipment to handle a 15,000 m (95,000 bbls) spill. This they have defined as the most probable spill. Many countries accept the MARPOL definition that a worst case spill may be as big as 30,000 - 40,000 m (190,000 - 250,000 bbls) as described in Regulations 23 through 25 of Annex I, although there is consideration being given to increasing this quantity.
  2. The Bonn Agreement
    In the Bonn Agreement, Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom entered into an agreement to, among other things, share each other's clean up equipment.
    Their major cleanup equipment is listed in Appendix B1.2 of the Bonn Agreement. I have taken these lists and penned in the manufactures "nameplate" capacity of the skimmers. I have also totaled the pieces and rated bbls/hr combined skimming capacity. As you can see, there is aggregate 121,012 meters of boom (380,060 feet, 7,198 miles). There are in excess of 262 small/medium/large (0 - 2,000 bbls/hr) and 18 very large skimmers (2,000 - 13,000 bbls/hr) whose aggregate capacity is 250,000 bbls/hr, and over 240 other vessels to support the oil spill combat operation.
    In addition, in the western USSR there is a combined skimming capacity in excess of 30,000 bbls/hr by some estimates. Finland also has very large capacity skimmers.
IV. Closing Remarks

At this time with the limited information available to me, I have found that in these cooperating countries, within a geographic area the size of Alaska, the government has in excess of 250,000 bbls/hr skimming capability. The most important feature of which is that it is only a few minutes to 48 hours away from any location of a neighboring country. This equipment is stored in over forty strategically placed locations within the region. Some government representatives have said that in addition to the government owned equipment, the oil industry has a combined skimmer capability in excess of the combined governments capability. Just think of it, over 500,000 bbls/hr! These estimates are supported by additional information regarding the industry's response ability at specific locations. For example, in Southampton, England, the BP Oil Spill Service Center has enough equipment to respond to two simultaneous spills of 75,000 bbls each. BP soon will upgrade their capability to be able to respond to two spills of 375,000 bbls each. There is a lot of discussion about how much cleanup equipment is necessary. As you know, skimmers are rated by the manufacturers. Those ratings are usually based on the skimmer's capacity to pump water. Therefore, the nameplate capacity is generally overrated by as much as 80%. Oil recovery is usually limited by skimmer encounter rate; the "skimmer encounter rate" is, how fast and in what quantity, the oil and the skimmer get together. In Europe, there seems to be a trend towards lots of skimmers and also very large skimmers, which can process a lot of oil and water very fast. Most all agree that if you don't have the oil picked up with in 12 to 48 hours, it will come ashore. And as we all know, once ashore, it's there for a longtime. ARCO is discussing a 40,000 bbl/hr tanker/skimmer (a vessel of opportunity). Currently, the nameplate capacity of the skimmers that are available in Prince William Sound is approximately 10,000 bbls/hr. That's for a single terminal that ships approximately 2,000,000 bbls/day. This is 40% - 60% more oil per day than the largest single terminal in Northern Europe by some estimates. Incidentally, on October 1989, GAO (General Accounting Office) says the new equipment at the terminal would at best only handle 35% - 45% of the oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez. As you know, any additional clean up capability that might be available to help in Alaska is days, not hours, away. If we are to have response capabilities on par with Northern Europe, we need in excess of 50 times more clean up skimmer capabilities. Unfortunately, we need more than skimmers to be on par with the terminals that I visited. Remember, those terminals have more crude storage capacity so that they do not have to ship crude in bad weather. They built all of the storage tanks that were originally planned. Also, as they expand, they build more tanks and add more cleanup equipment. We need more prevention controls such as more crude oil storage, state of the art vessel traffic systems, continuous vessel tracking even while at sea, daily pollution control aerial surveillance, the establishment of traffic lanes at sea which are 100 or more miles offshore, bigger skimmers, vessels of opportunity equipped with skimmers, escort response vessels in close water, emergency response tugs strategically located along the coast that can reach a disabled tanker before it drifts upon the rocks, double hull tankers, the list goes on. But most of all we need a cooperative attitude by all parties involved so that we can row our boat on a preset course and maintain a true heading.

Thank you.


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