Abstract

Long distance transportation of crude oil and refined products by ship and pipeline is expected to grow in the future given the increasing geographic mismatch between demand growth and sources of incremental oil supply. The Middle East, Eurasia and Africa in particular are expected to fuel demand growth in China, India and Europe which will require new pipeline and marine transportation capacity. This Best Practices session will feature successful case studies of new pipeline and shipping solutions that have met the challenges of geopolitics (including piracy), stakeholder support, funding, technology, cost and environmental impact.

Introduction

Over the past four decades, the tanker industry has taken major steps to improve its safety level and environmental performance. As the transported volumes of cargo have steadily increased on a tonne-mile basis, the industry has managed, through regulations and voluntary performance schemes, to significantly reduce the number of navigational accidents and the sizes and consequences of oil spills. In many respects, we can call this a success story. From the graphs below, it is easy to see the positive trend.

Although the tanker industry's performance has improved, the industry should not be complacent and satisfied and rest on its laurels. During the last five to ten years, another challenge has emerged. Emissions to air are increasingly influencing the tanker industry and other shipping segments - and the need to meet the future requirements and expectations of regulators and society at large has become ever more important. The revision of MARPOL Annex VI and, not least, the establishment of Emission Control Areas (ECAs) imply strict limitations on SOX, NOX and Particulate Matter emissions to air from ships. More ECAs are expected to be established over the next few years.

In addition to emissions to air from the fuel combustion processes, oil tankers release large amounts of cargo vapours, so-called Volatile Organic Compounds - VOC. Once the pressure inside cargo oil tanks exceeds established limits, these hydrocarbon gases (VOC) are released to the atmosphere.

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