Document Type

Article Restricted

Publication Date


Journal Title

Reliability Engineering & System Safety

Volume Number


Issue Number


First Page


Last Page



Oil tanker accidents resulting in large quantities of oil spills and severe pollution have occurred in the past, leading to major public attention and an international focus on finding solutions for minimising the risks related to such events. This paper proposes a novel approach for evaluating measures for prevention and control of marine oil spills, based on considerations of oil spill risk and cost effectiveness. A cost model that incorporates all costs of a shipping accident has been established and oil tanker spill accidents have been further elaborated as a special case of such accidents. Utilising this model, novel implementation criteria, in terms of the Cost of Averting a Tonne of oil Spilt (CATS), for risk control options aiming at mitigating the environmental risk of accidental oil spills, are proposed. The paper presents a review of previous studies on the costs associated with oil spills from shipping, which is a function of many factors such as location of spill, spill amount, type of oil, etc. However, ships are designed for global trade, transporting different oil qualities. Therefore, globally applicable criteria must average over most of these factors, and the spill amount is the remaining factor that will be used to measure cost effectiveness against. A weighted, global average cleanup cost of USD 16,000/tonne of oil spilt has been calculated, considering the distribution of oil tanker traffic densities. Finally, the criteria are compared with some existing regulations for oil spill prevention, response and compensation (OPA 90).