People, Environment

Oil Contamination Under Control

Iran is a signatory to a host of regional conventions that emphasize the need to keep waters clean.Iran is a signatory to a host of regional conventions that emphasize the need to keep waters clean.

Figures show a decrease in the country’s water contamination by oil activities in the last Iranian year (ended March 19) compared to the previous year, thanks to stringent measures taken by the Department of Environment, according to a top official at the department.

According to Ziaeddin Almasi, director of Marine Pollution Office at DOE, the department has increased its monitoring of ports, offshore oil platforms, refineries and petrochemical complexes.

“The government has also focused on strengthening ties between relevant bodies, such as the National Iranian Oil Company and Iranian Offshore Oil Company, which has made things easier,” Almasi was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

He, however, did not provide solid statistics.

Iran is a member of numerous regional oil-based conventions and protocols, which oblige relevant authorities to be more mindful of the environmental impacts of oil drilling and exploration.

Pointing to recent incidents in petrochemical facilities, the official said he hopes “they serve as a wakeup call for those in charge to enhance the funding and increase the manpower of their HSE (health, safety and environment) departments.”

On July 6, a massive fire broke out in Bouali Sina Petrochemical Complex in the southern province of Khuzestan in what was described as the largest incident in the oil and gas industry in recent times.

Three weeks later, another fire incident occurred at the Bistoon Petrochemical Company in Kermanshah Province.

Last year, Iran launched its first domestically-made oil spill response vessel named Daryapak 1. The vessel can carry 22 crew members and is capable of collecting 550 cubic meters of oil contaminants.