Determinants of vessel-accident bunker spillage

Tsz Leung Yip, W.K. Talley, D. Jin

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


Although a substantial literature exists on vessel-accident oil spills, little attention has been given to bunker spills from non-oil-cargo vessels. This paper investigates determinants of the bunker spillage from non-oil-cargo vessel accidents. The amount of vessel-accident bunker spillage is posited to be a function of vessel type, hull type, bunker fuel type, visibility at time of accident, type of vessel accident, and vessel operation phase. The function is estimated utilizing tobit regression and detailed data of individual non-oil-cargo vessel accidents that were investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard during the 8-year time period 2001-2008. The results suggest that a greater quantity of vessel-accident bunker fuel will be spilled when the vessel is abandoned, if the accident occurred at night, and when the vessel is adrift. Freight ships and offshore supply vessels spill more bunker fuel than passenger vessels in accidents. As expected, the size of a bunker spill from non-oil-cargo vessel accidents is smaller than the size of an oil-cargo spill from a tank barge accident.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2011


  • Bunker spills
  • Bunker convention
  • Vessel accidents
  • Marine pollution


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