EU tanker safety

Maureen Lorenzetti

The European Commission late last month gave its 12 member states until Apr. 5 to implement new tanker safety rules following two catastrophic oil tanker accidents off the European coast.

EC officials sent a formal notice letter to all European Union states, except Denmark, Germany, and Spain, warning that legal action might be taken through the Court of Justice if they do not comply.

The new rules call on countries to tighten safety and emergency procedures. Measures include: requiring that oil tankers and other large shipping vessels carry a voyage data recorder ("black box"), creating places of refuge for distressed ships, and establishing a better monitoring system for vessels with dangerous cargoes.

Shipper support
The EC regulation also is meant to give member states a stronger legal foundation in which to prohibit ships from leaving ports during "exceptional" weather conditions that involve serious threat to safety or the environment.

The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko) said it fully supports "proper plans" that ensure ships in need may immediately go to a place of refuge.

"The European Union member states have had plenty of time to make their plans, and indeed their respective ministers agreed more than a year ago that these plans should be submitted to the commission by July 1, 2003, rather than by the formal deadline given in the directive," the group said. Intertanko represents 66% of the world's independent tanker fleet.

Safety at Sea
The tanker group spoke Feb. 24 before the European Parliament's temporary committee on improving the safety at sea about a wide range of tanker safety issues. Among its recommendations to the panel, Intertanko called on the EU "to safeguard and eventually strengthen the UN Law of the Seas convention and not to undermine its main principles."

Intertanko's comments come as the US Senate debated about finally ratifying the longstanding treaty this year. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the measure last month.

Currently signed by 143 countries, the 21-year-old UN convention establishes several institutions, including the International Seabed Authority and the Continental Shelf Commission, a body of experts through which nations may establish universally binding outer limits for a continental shelf.

Treaty proponents argue active participation in the agreement will ensure that protections and restrictions are applied fairly (OGJ, Nov. 3, 2003, p. 37).

Intertanko urged the European Parliament to channel tanker safety goals and priorities through the UN-affiliated International Maritime Organization. They argued that as a global industry, shippers need international, uniform safety rules.

"National or regional regulations that differ from global rules always have the potential of being counterproductive because of the confusion and incompatibility of operational standards for tanker companies operating between various regions of the world."

Intertanko further called on EU countries to ratify international conventions on oil pollution spill compensation funds and related issues tied to oil spill liability.

Author contact: maureenl@ogjonline.com

Related Articles

Security takes center stage

12/15/2014

Thwarting terrorists, repelling pirates, and routing organized crime: sounds like themes of familiar, big-budget Hollywood movies.

Linn exits Anadarko basin in deal worth $1.95 billion

12/12/2014 Linn Energy LLC has agreed to sell all of its oil and gas properties and related midstream assets in the western Anadarko basin for $1.95 billion t...

Barton introduces bill to remove US crude export limits

12/11/2014

US Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) introduced legislation that would remove US crude oil export limits that have been in place for nearly 40 years.

Study improves subsea pipeline preheating

12/01/2014 A higher flow rate at lower temperatures can more effectively preheat subsea crude oil pipelines than currently used techniques. This article found...

US crude exports debate prompts a fresh look at the Jones Act

12/01/2014 The Jones Act, which requires that maritime transportation of goods between domestic ports take place on US-flagged vessels, is becoming more promi...

Legislative vote delays St. Croix refinery sale

12/01/2014 The Senate of the 30th Legislature of the US Virgin Islands has voted unanimously to send back a proposed agreement that would provide for the rest...

PAA, EPP to expand Eagle Ford pipeline, build terminal

11/04/2014 Plains All American Pipeline LP (PAA) and Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPP) are constructing a condensate gathering system into their Three Riv...

Pipeline, CNG top Cyprus gas export options

11/03/2014 Pipeline and CNG are the best options for exporting natural gas production from Cyprus to relatively close markets in terms of both initial cost an...

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected