European oil pipeline spills up in 1998

Losses from network still below long-term trend, according to oil industry survey

Loss of oil from overland pipelines in western Europe rose in 1998 compared with the previous year but remained well below the longer-term average, according to figures released by Concawe, the industry's European environmental body.

Just under 1,330 cubic metres (m3) of oil was spilled from the nearly 31,000 km of pipelines covered by the survey, of which about half was recovered and the rest lost to the environment. Compared with the 680m m3 of oil transported, the loss to the environment was one part per million of that transported, Concawe stresses. The amount of oil spilled in 1998 was up from 931 m3 in 1997, but remains at less than half the long-term average, the statistics show.

All the nine spills reported in 1998 caused some pollution, with clean-up costs amounting to euros 3.2m. Five of the spills were blamed on accidental damage by third parties, two on operational problems and one on mechanical failure.

Follow Up:
Concawe, tel: +32 2 220 3111, and "Performance of Cross-Country Oil Pipelines in Western Europe, {1998}.

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