Oil Leak 137 A question of trust – part 1

It’s time to start turning our attention to the CFPA 16 page advertising pull out provided in our local papers. Here’s what they’ve said about STS. So, the reason they are applying is because business has fallen away at Nigg and the new location will more attractive to oil companies. Why do you think oil companies will suddenly want to return to carrying out STS here – simple, by doing it at sea it will cost one third of the price it will cost anywhere else. It is being done on the cheap and oil companies are desperate to reduce overheads – no wonder it will be attractive. The reason it can be done on the cheap, is because the shore support at Nigg Oil Terminal will no longer be used, those wages no longer need to paid. Now whether you agree with the need to carry out oil transfers anywhere in the inner Moray Firth or not, the very fact that it is being proposed at sea, without shore support makes it inherently more dangerous. Now add the fact that it is in the middle of of the dolphin feeding and breeding areas how does this compare with the other areas where it is carried out in “sensitive marine environments”. Finnart – is hardly sensitive – in the very sheltered waters of Loch Long, no dolphins and done at a jetty. Shetland – Sullom Voe, sensitive, but highly industrialised, no dolphins and costs 3 times the prices as the CFPA proposal, with good reason! Scapa Flow – open water, but sheltered, with support from Flotta, sensitive yes, but no dolphins and very few transfers undertaken to date as it still costs 3 times what the CFPA application will. Transfers have taken place safely for the past 25 years – yes, at Nigg undertaken by the terminal operators, not in the sea – the CFPA have NO experience of undertaking STS. Maybe STS isn’t considered high risk around the world – what makes it high risk in this instance is where it is being undertaken, how it is being undertaken and the consequences if something goes wrong. If you can’t see that then open your eyes.

“Some stakeholders who disagree with the proposal”  We repeat our challenge – let the stakeholders have a fair and honest vote on this and see if its what they want. Apart from the CFPA & Invergordon CC,  we are hearing few if any voices in support of this. For once, lets try and leave things in a reasonable state for the next generation and not mess it up for the sake of short term greed. Have we learned nothing?