Developing draft National Technical Regulation of licensing criteria for dispersants use in Vietnam in oil spill response
In association with exploration, production, transportation, processing, delivery and storage of oil, gas and petroleum products, oil spill incidents pose potential risks and can occur any time. The use of dispersants in oil spill response is one of the remedies regulated by Decision No. 02/2013/QD-TTg dated January 14th, 2013 promulgated by the Prime Minister (The Regulation on Oil Spill Response). However, the use of oil dispersants in Vietnam is currently approved case by case and there are no consistent technical criteria for the approval. The problem concerning the criteria for selecting environmental friendly and highly efficient dispersants to Vietnamese crude in petroleum companies’ oil spill response plans has been a big issue.
To address the abovementioned issue, PetroVietnam assigned the Research and Development Center for Petroleum Safety and Environment (CPSE) of Vietnam Petroleum Institute the task: “Developing draft National Technical Regulation of licensing criteria for dispersants use in Vietnam in oil spill response”. This draft will be submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment to consider and promulgate, supporting environmental management in oil spill response.
According to the Law on Standards and Technical Regulations No. 68/2006 / QH11 dated 29/6/2006, the authors have consulted the standards and regulations of some countries such as USA, UK, France, India, Singapore, Norway, Australia, Japan, China… and also conducted laboratory experiments of some dispersants to prepare a Draft Regulation. Based on the above foundation, the authors proposed a consideration criterion set for approving oil dispersants use, including 4 key technical criteria. Accordingly, oil dispersants need to tested in Vietnam’s environmental conditions and meet the following criteria: Dispersion efficiency on Vietnamese crude with viscosity of 10,000 cSt or below and pour point from 32ºC (Bach Ho field crude recommended) using Baffled Flask method shall achieve at least 35%; Acute toxicity of liquid phase of dispersants on marine algae Skeletonema costatum (EC50 72h) and tiger shrimp larvae Penaeus monodon (LC50 96h) shall be 10 ppm or above; Acute toxicity of liquid phase of dispersants mixtures (dispersants/oil : 1/10) on marine algae Skeletonema costatum (EC50 72h) and tiger shrimp larvae Penaeus monodon (LC50 96h) shall be 100 pm or above; Biodegradability shall get minimum value of 30%. Additionally, for safety assurance, flash point of dispersants need to be controlled. Lowest flash point to be accepted is 60ºC