Successful seminar on FPSO liabilityOrganisations and Associations // March 6, 2000
The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko) reports that it held a well-attended seminar on FPSO liability issues was arranged at the Baltic Exchange in London on Friday 28 January.
A good cross-section of industry interests, including both FPSO operators and industry associations, were present and contributed to the discussions.
Intertanko's Captain Bob Bishop gave a brief introduction to the work of Intertanko's Shuttle Tanker Committee and its participation in inter-industry efforts to promote safety guidelines for Shuttle Tanker Operations.
Dr John Campbell, International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, gave an overview of current FPSO operations worldwide and explained the various forms of floating production and storage units in operation. His presentation provided a very foundationfor the discussions, having given an introduction to the nature of world of FPSO operations.
Rupert Mosley, of SBM Production Contractors Inc, outlined the major liability issues FPSO operators face, both in terms of contractual liabilities and liabilities imposed by national and international law.
He expressed concern that the recent discussions in the IOPC Fund Assembly had revealed potential problems in relation to the CLC and Fund Conventions' applicability to FPSOs and encouraged the industry to undertake efforts to achieve further clarity with regard to this issue.
Mosley's presentation pinpointed the concerns existing among FPSO operators, which had led Intertanko to arrange the seminar.
Colin De la Rue, of Ince Co, spoke about the CLC and Fund Conventions and their applicability to FPSO operations. In his legal analysis of the convention texts he pointed to a few problematic areas in relation to the Conventions' application to FPSOs which had been covered in discussions in the IOPC Fund.
He also indicated additional liability issues which perhaps should be addressed and particularly pointed to liability which FPSO operators assumed by contract and liability exposures in areas where no national or international law provided for the rightto limit liability.
De la Rue also highlighted a few potential initiatives, which could be considered by industry when approaching this issue.
Roger Sigal of the Offshore Pollution Association Ltd (OPOL) introduced OPOL and they way it provides cover for pollution resulting from offshore operations.
A lively and constructive discussion, which provided good input for compiling an action plan on liability issues for FPSOs, followed the presentations.
In co-operation with individual FPSO operators, Intertanko will examine the possibility for giving further constructive input to the IOPC Fund.
The possibility of extending the scope or geographical coverage of existing industry schemes and the establishment of new voluntary schemes which were mentioned will also be discussed and perhaps pursued in co-operation with other industry groups.