Conoco announced that it is applying the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) ‘Special Area’ designation to all oceans in which the company’s tankers operate. “We have notified our captains that all discharges of materials from our vessels will be in accordance with MARPOL Protocols pertaining to ‘Special Areas’,” said Antonio J. Valdes, president of Conoco. “Nothing other than food waste that has passed through a grinder, ballast water and treated sanitary waste will be discharged from our vessels at sea and only in areas where such disposal is allowed,” he emphasized.
In 1973, the IMO designated areas of the world’s oceans where oceanographical and ecological conditions mandate special efforts to prevent pollution; and the MARPOL Protocols were adopted to regulate discharges in those ‘Special Areas’. Conoco operates seven double-hulled ocean-going tankers and has 50 percent ownership in two double-hulled ultra deepwater drillships. In 1990, Conoco was the first U.S. oil company to voluntarily commit to building only double-hulled tankers, and achieved its objectives - sixteen years before U.S. legislation mandated double hulls on all tankers entering U.S. waters.
Over the years, Conoco has consistently included the most modern and technologically advanced environmental protection and safety devices into the design and construction of each new vessel. New technology used in construction of the company’s latest tankers includes: low-emissions engines that comply with future domestic and international emissions regulations; navigation-data recorders, similar to the “black box” technology used on airliners; equipment to exchange ballast water at sea to prevent transferring harmful microorganisms between international ports; and, tin-free coating that resists barnacle growth on the hulls, without harming other marine life.