Safe and Successful Operation
of Oil & Gas Marine Terminals

June 2, 2016 © Copyright Glomacs

Oil tankers, both crude carriers and clean product tankers carrying refined products, transport about 60% of the world’s oil. After the 1989 Exxon Valdez crude oil spill, many technical measures related to safety were introduced in the design of tankers, operational procedures, as well as interaction between tankers and the marine oil terminals. In 1990, the Oil pollution Act (OPA 90) introduced the requirement to phase out single-hull tankers by 2015 in US waters (“Stay out of Trouble by Going Double”). In 1992, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (the MARPOL Convention) was amended to require that all newly built tankers have double hulls, which has been ratified by 150 countries, representing about 99% of merchant tonnage shipped worldwide.

Oil & Gas Marine Terminals_webOil and gas marine terminals play a very important role in overall oil and gas transport. They are complex facilities engaged in transferring, processing or refining, and storing of oils and petrol products. Failures and incidents at terminal facilities have huge consequences for the marine environment and human health. Since the 1970s, 40% of small- and medium-sized oil spills and 29% of large oil spills occurred during typical operations at oil terminals, such as loading or discharging. Statistics have shown that the incidents at terminals lead to much higher costs for a company in terms of repairs, loss of oil value, remediation and claims, than if the company had enabled an adequate level of safety to prevent incidents from happening.

Regulations and standards take care of the minimum design and construction and operating requirements for marine oil terminals and pipelines. The International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers & Terminals (ISGOTT) describes the necessary measures required for proper interaction between tankers and marine terminals. In many countries, marine terminals are covered by the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) which requires annual inventory reporting on storage tanks for petroleum products and other fluids. 

Oil & Gas Marine Terminals_web2Health, safety, security, and environment (HSSE) aspects are always on the top of the list of requirements for both operators and the port authorities for any successful oil and gas marine terminal. It has been demonstrated that the marine terminal personnel from bottom to top management have to be highly knowledgeable and familiar with up-to-date International Regulations and Standards, including codes and policies related to fluid transfer operations, as well as spill contingency plans and fire prevention emergency practices. In many cases, marine terminal accidents and fatalities have occurred due to the lack of, or insufficient technical knowledge or skill. In some cases, however, it was simply due to a loose attitude regarding obeying strict rules and regulations.

In the course: Oil and Gas Marine Terminals: Operations, Management and Safety in Accordance with International Standards, participants coming from companies that operate marine terminals, will be provided with the necessary knowledge and updated tools and skills that will enable them to successfully handle various safety issues in terminal operations such as berthing support, cargo transfer support, emergency response and vessel departure support according to international regulations and standards. The course will focus on both managerial and technical aspects of terminal operation that are prerequisite for successful operation of such a complex facilities.

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