Turkey alarmed by oil spill threat over Bosporus strait

Turkey says it wants reduce the threat of oil spills by getting international oil firms to move crude through the Bosporus Strait.

Turkey alarmed by oil spill threat over Bosporus strait

Turkey says it wants reduce the threat of oil spills by getting international oil firms to build overland pipelines instead of using tankers to move crude through the Bosporus Strait.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told a Thursday meeting of oil executives that the government is concerned about safety in the Bosporus.

Yildiz said crude oil and similar substances passing through the Istanbul and Canakkale Straits were big enough to keep busy three pipelines and that there was a need to reformulate regulations on sea traffic at the straits.

Speaking at a meeting in Istanbul on prevention of risks of oil transportation by tankers for the Sea of Marmara and Turkish Straits, Yildiz said that the problem of heavy traffic in the straits must be resolved.

More than 100 million tonnes of oil and related products pass through the Turkish Straits every year and this figure continues to grow annually. We are obligated to leave a clean environment to future generations, Yildiz said.

The reality that oil and natural gas will make up 50 percent of all energy resources in the next decade is sufficient to justify the precautions to be taken at the Turkish Straits, Yildiz said.

We know that Istanbul has historic and cultural beauties of 8,500 years. We are obligated to preserve the beauties of Istanbul by reformulating regulations on sea traffic at the Turkish Straits, Yildiz said.

We want to solve the problems associated with the Turkish Straits with the almost 20 oil companies attending today's meeting, Yildiz said.

If we can not solve the problems, we would have to implement a new package of measures. We know that the current trend in the straits can not go on. I am confident that the professional companies participating in today's meeting will be a part of the solution, Yildiz also said.

The strait runs from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and onward to the Mediterranean.

The government is proposing an alternative pipeline from the Black Sea city of Samsun to Ceyhan, a Mediterranean port.

Turkey also wants progress on stalled plans for the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline. It was planned between ports of Bulgaria and Greece.

"Gulf's biggest ever"


Meanwhile, BP's massive oil spill will become the largest ever in the Gulf of Mexico by Thursday based on the highest of the federal government's estimates, an ominous record that underscores the oil giant's dire need to halt the gusher.

The oil that's spewed for two and a half months from a blown-out well a mile under the sea is expected to surpass the 140 million gallon mark, eclipsing the record-setting Ixtoc I spill off Mexico's coast from 1979 to 1980. Even by the lower end of the government's estimates, at least 71.2 million gallons are in the Gulf.

The growing total is crucial to track, in part because Great Britain-based BP PLC is likely to be fined per gallon spilled, said Larry McKinney, director of Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi's Gulf of Mexico research institute.

"It's an important number to know because it has an impact on restoration and recovery," McKinney said.

The oil calculation is based on the higher end of the government's range of barrels leaked per day, minus the amount BP says it has collected from the blown-out well using two containment systems. Measuring it helps scientists figure out where the missing oil is, hidden below the water surface with some even stuck to the seafloor. Oil not at the surface damages different parts of the ecosystem.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Temmuz 2010, 13:12

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