Oil spilt from accidents involving tankers is at an all time low. Accidental oil spills from tankers now constitute a negligible proportion of oil finding its way into the marine environment, as demonstrated by ITOPF’s annual statistics released today. While no accident involving an oil spill should be ignored as both government and industry strive towards ‘zero tolerance’, to put the figures into perspective, the volume of oil spilt during 2012 represents less than one millionth of the quantity of oil transported by sea. As ITOPF’s figures have historically been rounded to the nearest 1,000 tonnes, the volumes spilt recently are now so low that they can be said to be around baseline levels.
In terms of the number of incidents, there were no large spills (>700 tonnes) recorded for 2012 and, although 7 medium sized spills (7-700 tonnes) were recorded, up from 2010 and 2011, they resulted in less oil being spilt overall.
These figures are good news for tanker operators and governments alike as they work to continually improve both safety and environmental performance.
Further details on the number and quantity of spills from tanker accidents since 1970, together with figures and tables, are available on the statistics
page of ITOPF’s website and in ITOPF’s annual statistics package
. 29th January 2013