Oil Spills From Vessels Cause More Damage Than Major Accidents

Oil spills from vessels and during transportation cause more damage to the environment, than large catastrophes, said Vladimir Gershenzon, General Director of the ScanEx Research and Development Center at the press conference “Environmental Situation in the Gulf of Mexico: How to Avoid Similar Events in Russia?” that took place at the RIA Novosti.

“If we have a look at the statistics of major accidents (such as the oil platform accident in the Gulf of Mexico) – they attract the attention, however the volumes of pollution during oil products transportation are much higher, than during such big accidents”, said Mr. Gershenzon.

He took the situation in Novorossiysk for example, where satellite-based monitoring enabled to detect five ships dumping oil products right at anchorage of the seaport. According to Mr. Gershenzon, it is hard to bring a suit against ship captains for water area pollution in Russia, as a number of public agencies have to make strong efforts together.

“However, – he noted, – “even stricter sanctions imposed for pollution may not be efficient as the ships will start dumping oil in the international waters.”

“International regulations and control system should be created and put in work that should start to make this system look civilized. Both assets and methods are available to do that. It is a question of introduction and of a political will”, – believes Head of ScanEx RDC.

The oil platform, operated by the BP (British Petroleum), sunk in the Gulf of Mexico on April 22 after 36-hour fire, following the huge explosion. After the exposition followed by oil gushing from the well the spill has now reached the Louisiana coast and is nearing the coasts of two neighboring states – Florida and Alabama.

Coastguard and the US Mineral Management Service are investigating into the reasons of the drilling platform explosion. Coastguard suspended the search for 11 people lost after the Deepwater Horizon exposition. In all, 126 people were working at the drilling platform that was larger than two football fields in size.

Source: RIA-Novosti (http://eco.rian.ru/danger/20100504/230305085.html)