Oil and other Harmful Substances

The ROPME Sea Area (RSA), which starts from the South of Mina Reysut in Oman/Arabian Sea up to the North of the Gulf, is one of the highest oil pollution risks in the world. This is mainly due to the concentration of offshore installations, tanker loading terminals (26 loading points) and the huge volume and density of marine transportation of oil. It is estimated that 40% of oil entering the Sea Area is caused by marine transportation activities, which result in an annual total average input of 1,100,000 barrels or approximately 155,000 tons as estimated in 1991.


According to the Oil Spill Intelligence Report, out of 20 cases of oil spills which are greater than ten million gallons (about 34,000 MT) worldwide, six cases have been related to the ROPME Sea Area. Furthermore, smaller scales of oil pollution incidents are also numerous in the ROPME Sea Area. These incidents are resulted from offshore installations, sub marine pipelines, tanker tanks wash and sub-standard vessel incidents.


It is estimated that about 1 915 381 MT of oil was spilled into ROPME Sea Area during the period between 1965 to 2002. The greater quantity of oil slicks was due to the 1991 war where 1 260 961 MT of oil was spilled in the north part of ROPME Sea Area.


According to the records of investigations carried out by MEMAC, many incidents occurred in the Region due to sub-standard vessels during the period from 1997 to 2008, as well as some leakage caused by an oil spill within the offshore oilfield.


Accordingly, the member States have given MEMAC the green light to go ahead in dealing with this problem. MEMAC, in co-operation with the UN Multination Interception Force in the Region, carried out several oil spill salvage operations whereas more than 50 000 MT of oil was salvaged during the period of 1997 to 2002. This amount of oil was definitely going to ROPME Sea Area and it would have added to the existing pollution resulted from tankers' tank wash.


When Where How Much
Barrels MT
1981 Shuaibah Refinery / Kuwait 741 981 105 997
1982 Tanker Assimi / Oman 367 490 52 498
1983 Nowruz oil Field / Iran 2 044 000 292 000
1983 Tanker Pericles / Qatar 321 991 45 999
1985 Tanker NOVA / Iran 489 987 69 998
1987 Tanker TEXACO Caribbean / Sharjah, UAE 54 346 7 764
1987 Tanker Shining Star / Iran 185 500 26 500
1991 Gulf War / North part of ROPME Sea Area 8 826 718 1 260 961
1994 Tanker SEKI / Fujirah, UAE 112 000 16 000
1998 Barge LB – 300 / Sharjah, UAE 42 000 6 000
2012 Stolt Valor– Mid RSA (Chemical MTBE+IBAL) - 4377