Oil spills into the sea cause serious environmental damage

Oil spills into the sea cause serious

environmental damage

An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially the marine ecosystem. The term is usually given to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters. Oil spills may be due to releases of crude oil from tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells, as well as spills of refined petroleum products (such as gasoline, diesel) and their by-products, heavier fuels used by large ships such as bunker fuel, or the spill of any oily refuse or waste oil.

Oil spills can have disastrous consequences for society: economically, environmentally, and socially. As a result, oil spill accidents always originate intense media attention and political noise, bringing many together in a struggle concerning response and what actions can best prevent them from happening.

Accidental oil tank vessel spills account for approximately 8-13% of all oil spilled into the oceans. The main causes of oil tank vessel spills are collision (29%), grounding (22%), mishandling (14%) and sinking (12%), among others.

However, there has been a reduction of the number of spills from oil tankers and of the amount of oil released per oil tanker spill. In 1992, MARPOL was amended and made it mandatory for large tankers (5,000 dwt and more) to be fitted with double hulls. This is considered to be a major reason for the reduction of oil tanker spills, alongside other innovations such as GPS, sectioning of vessels and sea lanes in narrow straits.

Oil spills may still occur on terminals, e.g. where tankers are moored to CALM Buoys and loading or offloading products though marine transfer hoses. Whether it is due to a mooring line failure, harsh meteocean conditions or unpredicted process events, the transfer system may suffer substantial damages, such enough to cause oil spills into the sea.

The simplest way to prevent such an extreme damage to occur and to safeguard the equipment integrity and so preventing the spill, is to employ what is called a Marine Breakaway Coupling (MBC).

An MBC is a safety passive device that protects a flexible hose string (floating or submarine) from an excessive axial load, a surge pressure, or a combination of the two.

MIB MBC called “Mibreak” has key and unique features like:

  • Minimum spillage by use of an enhanced petal sealing design
  • Revolutionary damping arrangement (no orifice) to control closure rate and prevent debris or particle ingress
  • Unique and user-friendly on-site reassembling after a disconnection
  • Special titanium weak-bolt alloy
  • 2 stages petal valve controlled-closure to minimize surge
  • Maintenance free for 5 to 7 years
  • 25 years design life
Tel. +39 049 8741272
Fax +39 049 643834
e-mail: info@mibitaliana.it

MIB International Limited c/o Dafferns LLP
Ph. +44 (0) 24 76225202
Fax +44 (0) 24 76221752
e-mail: sales@mibitaliana.it
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