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In the News

Azerbaijan draws up oil spills contingency plan


November 03, 2011

The Ministry for Emergency Situations has drawn up a national contingency plan to tackle oil spills, a workshop in Baku has heard.

The plan has been coordinated with international organizations, the head of the ministry's department for infrastructure development, Tariyel Huseynov, said.

The plan will be submitted to the government soon, he told a workshop on oil pollution at sea.

“Ratification of the plan is to be followed by preparation of the next document - an Action Plan to Prevent Oil Spills."

Huseynov said that a rescue service with all the necessary equipment and personnel had been set up to tackle any offshore incident.

"Increased oil and gas production in turn increases the risk of accidents. Therefore, it's important to set up the relevant infrastructure in the new fields and to cooperate with the companies involved in oil and gas production in the region," the department chief said.

The workshop on International Regimes for Claims and Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage caused by Oil Spills at Sea opened on Thursday.

It is organized by the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the OSCE Office in Baku.

In his welcoming speech, the first deputy minister of emergency situations, Lt-Gen Rafael Mirzayev, emphasized the importance of a serious approach to oil spills and of cooperation with foreign oil and gas companies.

"Increased oil and gas production in the Caspian Sea increases the risk of oil and chemical pollution," he said.

The head of the OSCE Office in Baku, Koray Targay, said in his address that the OSCE Office worked closely with the government of Azerbaijan and was ready to give sustainable support and expert opinion in oil spills contingency planning.

The workshop will hold three sessions on three topics: the oil spills contingency plan; the implementation of the Tehran Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea at national level, international cooperation in maritime security and protection of the marine environment; and international regimes for claims and compensation for oil spills at sea.

Representatives of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, State Maritime Administration, State Oil Company and international experts are attending the workshop.

Azerbaijan has joined the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation.

Azerbaijan and other Caspian littoral states have signed a protocol on regional cooperation to prevent oil pollution in the Caspian Sea.

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