Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 3 / Trend K. Zarbaliyeva /
The growth of production, oil and gas transportation in the Caspian Sea and the creation of relevant infrastructure have recently increased the risk of marine pollution by oil and chemical products, Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations Rafael Mirzoyev said at a workshop "Liability for oil spills at sea and international regimes of their compensation" in Baku on Thursday.
The event was organized by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Emergency Situations and the OSCE Baku office.
Azerbaijan has a regulatory base in this area. There are the appropriate organizations, Mirzoyev said. Caspian countries need cooperation with foreign companies operating in the oil and gas industry.
"There were the organizations responsible for preventing the Caspian Sea pollution in Soviet times. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, all machinery and equipment for this industry remained in Azerbaijan. But it was produced in 1970 - 1980. This technique was repaired and brought into working order. But there is a need in new technique. The draft national plan for liquidating oil spill will be submitted to the government after the appropriate organizations make a decision in the coming days.
Local and foreign experts analyzed the draft national plan of actions related to oil spills and emergency situations in the oil industry, as well as best practice in the Black Sea and Baltic Sea to compensate for the damage.
The experts said that this issue is of great importance for Azerbaijan.
"Man-made disasters that have occurred as a result of oil spills worldwide, once again reminded that these incidents could lead to serious environmental and economic consequences," head of OSCE Office in Baku Koray Targay said. "Coordinated actions are required."
The OSCE Baku office closely works with the Azerbaijani government. It is ready to assist in preventing oil spills and providing an expert opinion, he said.
The meeting were held on the following themes "Status of the plan for preparedness in case of oil spills in Azerbaijan", "Implementation of the framework convention (Tehran Convention) on the environmental protection of the Caspian Sea at the national level, the international experience of cooperation in the field of maritime safety and marine environment", and "Liability for oil spills at sea and international regimes of their compensation".
The workshop was attended by representatives of Ministry of Emergency Situations, the State Maritime Administration, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan and foreign experts.
Azerbaijan joined the international convention on the preparedness for oil pollution incidents and co-operation in combating them. Moreover, Azerbaijan and other Caspian countries signed a protocol on regional cooperation in preventing oil pollution of the Caspian Sea.