Although the quality of spill prevention systems had been improved over the years, oil leaks still damage the environment. Companies found guilty of oil pollution face steep EPA fines. Green Ocean, a Netherlands-based spill prevention company, talks about its experiences and solutions in the field.

Above Ground Storage Tanks (AST) failures have the potential to release large amounts of oil, which can pollute the environment and damage plant and animal life. Any incident of this nature draws negative media coverage and results in costly cleanup operations.

However, the main threat is not massive spills, but small everyday leaks, caused by mistakes in operation, human error or equipment failure. Leaks create serious contamination of the land and underground waters. By the time the leak is detected the whole site may be declared as contaminated.

In Europe, there may be as many as 2.5 million potentially contaminated sites, which need to be investigated. Of these, approximately 14 percent (340 000 sites) are expected to be contaminated and likely to require remediation. Mineral oil and heavy metals are the main contaminants contributing around 60 percent to soil contamination. In terms of budget, the management of contaminated sites is estimated to cost around €6bn annually.

Netherlands-based company Green Ocean, which produces 100 percent environmentally friendly super absorptive spill response products, came up with a cost-effective and easy- to- install spill prevention system.

The company calls it “Spill Prevention Shield”. In the heart of the system is a mineral mat of 1 sqm of which holds up to 300 litres of oil. The mat repels water and snow and works in any temperature. It can be installed in Brownfield or Greenfield locations and boasts a 72-hour spill reaction policy. The mat or parts of it can be easily replaced in the case of a spill or a leak.

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7th January 2019 

7th January 2019