Petroleum Pollution

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Petroleum Pollution International Waters, the Role of International Law and Treaties

The topic of my review article is the “Petroleum pollution in international waters and the role of international law and treaties”. I have chosen the Bioremediation Journal for the publication of my article because the journal is highly relevant to the topic and has quite clear instructions to authors. The instructions to Author are attached in appendix, while the paper is starting from Abstract from the next page.


Petroleum pollution in international water is mainly due to the oil spills and amounts of oil in a certain body of water such as an ocean. Oil spills are the release of petroleum into the sea and are a serious threat mainly to coastal environments. The coastal areas' vulnerability to oil spills has increased, often to the level of potential natural and human catastrophes. International law has developed different approaches to environmental protection. Liability and compensation regimes hold states responsible for actions that hurt the environment. These regimes have proven difficult to implement because they are very hard to negotiate. The duty to consult and notify imposes the obligation on states to notify other nations about environmental problems and emergencies. In addition, the regulation of pollutants, for example, by establishing emission limits, and the establishment of environmental standards that have to be met, has led to some progress. Treaties are written agreements between states, which concerns different environment aspects such as oil spills and contains the actions to be taken in any sudden violating event.

Key Terms:

Petroleum pollution, International waters, International Environmental law, International Treaties, Oil Spill.

Petroleum Pollution International Waters And The Role Of International Law And Treaties


Petroleum is a homogeneous liquid containing several hundred to several thousand individual chemical compounds. Analyses of samples of petroleum from different parts of the world show that the elemental composition of petroleum varies over a narrow range: 82-87 percent carbon, 11-16 percent hydrogen, 0-1 percent sulfur, 0-7 percent oxygen plus nitrogen, and a few parts per million metals. All the compounds in petroleum may be grouped into two broad categories: hydrocarbons and non-hydrocarbons. About 90 percent by weight of the compounds present in petroleum are hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons present in petroleum may be further grouped into alkenes, cycloalkanes, and aromatic hydrocarbons. The proportions of these three types of hydrocarbons vary with the source of the petroleum. In addition to hydrocarbons, petroleum generally contains relatively small proportions of sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen-containing compounds, and oregano-metallic compounds. Petroleum could be classified based on its composition, geochemical considerations, and American Petroleum Institute gravity (Obuasi, 2000, p. 74-75).

Petroleum refining for production of hydrocarbon fuels involves a number of unit operations that are designed to achieve four main objectives:

Separation of crude oil into fractions with different boiling ranges that are suitable for specific uses

Purification of the petroleum products

Conversion of those products with a relatively low market demand to the products with higher market demand

Improvement of the quality of the refined products

Petroleum is a major energy source for domestic and industrial ...
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