A problem-solving forum on the topic of oil spills
On January 14, 2018, the Iranian oil tanker ‘Sanchi’, carrying nearly a million barrels of ultra-light crude oil, sank in the East China Sea. The tanker had been burning for days, and all 32 crew members were killed in the disaster.
Reuters reported that the catastrophic event could result in the worst oil spill for 35 years, with water contaminated by the toxic cargo of condensate and the ship’s heavy fuel oil reaching as far as Japan or South Korea, placing fishing grounds and reefs under serious threat. (‘How the Sanchi’s oil could spread’, Reuters Graphics, January 26, 2018.)
A TIMELY FORUM
There could scarcely be a more apposite illustration of the importance of Interspill 2018, the industry-leading oil spill conference and exhibition at the ExCeL in London which runs from March 13-15, 2018. Co-located with the Oceanology International ocean technology exhibition, Interspill 2018 is co-organised by Interspill Ltd and Reed Exhibitions. The event provides an essential platform for oil spill industry professionals, academics and government regulators to network and discuss in detail the planning, technology, logistics and legislation required to deal effectively with future oil spills, concentrating upon Spill Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Restoration.
“We are fortunate to live in an era when the threat of large-scale oil spills at sea has been greatly reduced,” comments Roger Mabbott, Executive Director of the UK Spill Association (stand S100), members of the Interspill Committee alongside Interspill co-founders NOSCA (stand S200) and SYCOPOL (stand S500). “Nevertheless, the appalling Sanchi oil tanker disaster proves categorically that complacency can never be an option. Interspill 2018 represents an invaluable forum in which industry experts and official bodies can discuss and consider methods of preventing, containing and ameliorating oil spills. Visitors will be reassured that our across-the-board efforts to safeguard the environment against oil and chemical spills, both at sea and on land, are strenuous and tireless.”
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Interspill, launched in 1998, with the first exhibition and conference taking place in Brighton in 2000. Interspill’s 2015 event in Amsterdam was attended by more than 1,200 visitors, delegates and exhibitors from over 70 countries, and a greater number of attendees is anticipated for the 2018 show in the ExCel, London. Among key exhibitors confirmed thus far are Interspill Committee members the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA, stand T500) and Oil Spill Response Ltd (OSRL, stand U400), the largest international industry-funded cooperative specialising in tackling oil spills.
Other confirmed exhibitors include Darcy Spillcare Manufacture (stand T400), long-standing UK specialists in economically-viable pollution control products and services; OPTIMARE Systems GmbH (stand S501), makers of airborne and stationary oil spill remote sensors and alarms; Fast Engineering Ltd (stand S403), manufacturers of the FASTANK liquid storage container for use in oil and chemical clean-up operations; and NRC (stand U300), an international service contractor providing environmental, industrial and emergency solutions to the oil and energy sectors.
“Interspill 2018 makes sound business sense for exhibitors and visitors,” says Event Manager David Ince. “There can be no greater concentration of current clients and possible new customers under one roof, so products and services will be showcased to their fullest extent. Taking the co-located Oceanology event into consideration, the potential for establishing new working relationships with a global reach is effectively limitless.”
Before Interspill 2018 proper gets under way there are two Educational Short Courses on Monday, March 12 (ExCeL South Gallery Room 16), each formulated to provide an introductory context and overview. Oil Spill Fundamentals (11.00-14.45), arranged by OSRL and ITOPF, will introduce attendees to the first principles of appropriate oil spill response, while Claims & Compensation (15.00-18.30), organised by IOPC Funds, will examine the claims process involved in legitimate cost recovery following a tanker spill.
The main conference programme will take in a series of thorough, in-depth Technical Tracks. Key topics for these include Effective Preparedness (South Gallery Rooms 15 & 16, 13.00-15.00, Tuesday, March 13); Offshore/E&P (South Gallery Rooms 15 & 16, 16.00-17.30, Tuesday, March 13); Dispersants Experts Panel Session (South Gallery Rooms 15 & 16, 11.30-13.00, Wednesday, March 14); Government/Industry Partnerships (South Gallery Rooms 15 & 16, 14.00-15.30, Wednesday, March 14); Inland Spill Issues (South Gallery Rooms 18 & 19, 16:00-17:30, Wednesday, March 14); Shipping and Salvage Risks (South Gallery Rooms 15 & 16, 09.30-11.00, Thursday, March 15); and Strategic Aspects of Preparedness (South Gallery Rooms 15 & 16, 11.30-13.00, Thursday, March 15). The full conference programme can be found at https://www.interspillevent.com/Conference/Conferences/#
“The broad variety of themes and incentives covered in the conference programme will help to bring delegates up to speed with the most progressive thinking in preventing and combating oil spills,” remarks David Ince. “The conference speakers, each one a recognised specialist in his or her chosen field, will range from project managers, team leaders and consultants to scientists, engineers and technical advisers. The magnitude of the collective knowledge base cannot be underestimated. It bodes extremely well for the development of new concepts and solutions to prepare for oil or chemical spills occurring, and to manage such spills as scrupulously as possible should they happen.”
The Technical Tracks will be accompanied for the entire duration of Interspill 2018 by free-to-attend Science Workshops, Spill Industry seminars and a poster exhibition on the show floor, covering between them a wide variety of oil spill preparedness and response subjects.
Also augmenting the event is Interspill Plus, a dedicated space in the exhibition with seminars, demonstrations and presentations, organised by the UK Spill Association. The focus for this is On-Land Spills – a matter of some significance in light of the fact that nearly nine million tons of crude oil are estimated to have spilled from US pipelines since 2010 (source: businessinsider.com).
For more information on the Interspill London 2018 exhibition and conference programme, registering to attend or booking a stand, see www.interspillevent.com.
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