Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Unhappy tales from a community that has experience ship to ship oil transfers - Southwold in Norfolk - they are trying to get rid of them

Many Gurn readers and social media regulars in the area have been educating themselves on the proposed ship to ship oil transfers proposed for the Moray Firth. One of our regular correspondents points us in the direction of the latest article posted on the Cromarty rising information site "Oil Leak 7". 

The article states:

"Five years after having STS imposed on them, the residents of Southwold are 79% opposed to STS prompting the Town Council to write to the Department of Transport asking for the order permitting STS to be terminated. Read for yourself HERE"

And not a good read at all, our correspondent tells us:

"They don't want STS. They have had first-hand experience, and it has not been good. They note with disappointment that it has created no new employment. They complain that there has been minimal government inspection or regulation. They describe persistent low level pollution and minor incidents. "

Our regular reader states: "Do we now want to suffer a repeat of what they have been through? It is worth noting that the Southwold STS zone is 12 miles out from the English coast, in the open area of the North Sea/English Channel approaches. If we have such a zone, it will be just 4 miles or so from Nairn and 1.5 miles or less from the Sutors."

1 comment:

D.Ross said...

The complaints from Southwold re the day to day problems with STS operations, back up my concerns on what I feel is the core of the issue.

I passed on to Cromarty Rising a report by COWI (Denmark) on the BRISK project covering STS operations in the Baltic sea, dated 20/06/2011. In it they go into great depth re the amount of spills, pollution etc. in Danish waters.

In 2009 they had a total of 72 STS operations, involving 203 vessels, over 215 days, & transferring 9,455,506T of oil. The licence the CPA are asking for (currently) is for 48 STS operations per year & a maximum oil transfer of 180,000T per operation.

If we extrapolate the figures from the COWI report to take into account the reduced number of STS operations we get:- 48 STS operations, involving 135.36 vessels, over 143.52 days, & transferring 6,303,670T of oil. However taking the maximum asked for of 180,000T per operation results in 8,640,000T of oil transferred.

COWI state that No oil spill from an STS operation has been reported so far in their waters. The STS hose failure rate is 1/32,000. However they go on to state the estimated average annual spill risk is 9,4T per year. Most of these are very minor spills & if we extrapolate it from the 72 STS operations down to our 48 STS operations then we get a realistic figure of total pollution risk for a year of 6.24ton!

It is the day to day smaller spills, from the general operation of large ships, along with the noise & smell which I am more concerned about. According to the license there will only be 1 STS operation occurring at a time. So based on my figures above that will be 2.83 ships (say 3) parked in the Firth, pumping oil 24hrs a day for 144 days of the year!!

Since the big red ships (Petronordic at 54,865GT, etc) have been parked here, on a quiet night all I can hear is the low bass drone/thump from the engines, Now imagine a much bigger ship with big pumps running & a couple of smaller ships also. Then visualise this as the view from the beach on a nice hot sunny day at the height of the summer tourist season! Welcome to Nairn!!! I wonder how many people will return visits after that!!

If you want to get an idea on how much we pollute our seas & how much is from small operational spills then look on line for the ACOPS 2013 (latest one) report done on behalf of the MCA. Full title is:- Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea, Annual survey of reported discharges attributed to vessels & offshore oil & gas installations operating in the UK pollution control zone.