110131 5/30/2007 9:55 07ANKARA1310 Embassy Ankara UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY VZCZCXRO9708 RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD DE RUEHAK #1310/01 1500955 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 300955Z MAY 07 FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2305 INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2324 RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 8100 RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0520 RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 1645 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3155 RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6669 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 1160 RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 3105 RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0140 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 5554 RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 3106 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 0995 RUEHVT/AMEMBASSY VALLETTA 0071 RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 2776 RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1990 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 5388 RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC RHMFIUU/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE RUCBNLA/COMUSNAVEUR DET ONE LONDON UK//POLAD// RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC RUWDSGG/CG I MEF UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001310
USDOC FOR NOAA STATE ALSO FOR OES/OMC RIDDLE FOR COAST GUARD PARIS FOR USOECD
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: SENV, EPET, EWWT, MARR, TU, RS, GG, RO SUBJECT: TURKEY PLANS BLACK SEA OIL SPILL RESPONSE EXERCISE
REF: 06 ANKARA 4703
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1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Private industry, the Turkish Government, and other Black Sea littoral states are planning a comprehensive oil spill response exercise September 19-20 at Eregli on the Turkish Black Sea coast, preceded by a series of planning workshops. Industry observers give the Government of Turkey credit for improving its oil spill response preparedness, but recognize the need for greater coordination between industry and various government agencies, the objective of this September exercise. In the event of a serious oil spill, Turkey would have to draw on international resources. END SUMMARY.
2. (U) BACKGROUND: Turkey's Ministry of Environment has ultimate responsibility for handling oil pollution or spills. Local responsibility is designated to managers at individual ports, or in the case of spills at sea, to the Turkish Navy and the Undersecretariat for Maritime Affairs. Oil on shore would normally be dealt with by the municipalities or installation concerned. A National Contingency Plan has been developed by the Ministry of Environment, the Undersecretariat for Maritime Affairs, the Turkish Coast Guard, and the Provincial Governors. A National Contingency Plan Executive Committee has been established to coordinate preparedness and response. Plans for some cities, such as Istanbul, Canakkale, Samsun, Trabzon, Antalya, and Mersin have been forumulated.
3. (U) There is some government-owned oil spill response equipment at various locations in Turkey, mainly operated by Coastal Safety and Ship Salvage Administration, a government-run salvage company located in Istanbul. A limited amount of oil spill clean up equipment is owned by oil companies operating in Turkey, such as the BP led BTC port facility at Ceyhan. A few small, private salvage companies operating from Istanbul have dispersant spraying capability. SESMEKE, a joint venture of SEACOR Environmental Services Inc., a global leader in emergency response services, and MEKE Marine Environment Services, a Turkish oil spill response contractor, is the most significant private company.
Industry focusing on Black Sea Oil Spill Preparedness
4. (U) London-based private industry Oil Spill Response Preparedness Initiative (OSPRI) (affiliated with the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association) has been working closely with the Government of Turkey (GOT) on oil spill response preparedness, particularly with the Bucharest Convention affiliated and Istanbul based Black Sea Commission. This is in part because the Mediterranean Sea based Barcelona Convention -- and its affiliated organization, Malta-based REMPEC -- is viewed as more mature and experienced. The latter organization was particularly active in August 2006, when there was a threat that the Lebanon oil spill might affect Turkey, which ultimately never happened (Reftel).
5. (SBU) Chevron's Istanbul-based maritime shipping expert Kjell Landin said the GOT had made great progress on oil spill response, including formulation of a national plan, but there was still a need for greater implementation, preparation, coordination, and high
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level support. He commented that industry had recommended designating three response centers in Turkey, but provincial governors had successfully argued for seven, which could threaten assuring standard equipment and procedures. BP officials also gave the GOT reasonable marks for oil spill response capacity, but noted the potential challenge in coordinating local authority versus Environment and Maritime Ministries' responsibilities. They gave high marks to the GOT's management of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Vessel Traffic System (VTS), noting that the GOT was going to merge the heretofore separate management of VTS and pilotage. Noting the importance of Black Sea cooperation on port and shipping standards, the BP officials supported countries raising these issues in all possible fora: International Maritime Organization, EU, Black Sea Commission, and BSEC. They suggested oil spill response as a topic in the USG sponsored BSEC environment workshop in September.
Workshops Culminate in September Oil Spill Exercise
6. (U) OSPRI, the Black Sea Commission, a private shipper (Gungen Maritime) and the GOT (Undersecretariat for Maritime Affairs and the Ministry of Environment) are organizing an international oil spill exercise September 19-20 at Eregli, site of a significant steel works on the Turkish Black Sea Coast, north of Ankara. The exercise is intended to involve search and rescue and oil pollution components. The sponsors have organized a series of planning workshops, such as a dispersant workshop in December, sensitivity-mapping workshop in March (in conjunction with the GOT's science institute - TUBITAK), an aerial surveillance workshop in April, a table-top exercise in April (Black Sea Contingency Plan), a shoreline deployment training in May (use of booms and barriers), a claims seminar in June, and a media handling seminar in July, (some of these events take place in Ankara or Istanbul). Representatives of Turkey, Russia, Georgia, and Romania attended the sensitivity-mapping seminar.
7. (U) Key exercise contacts are Kjell Landin, Chevron (90 212 - 542 8688: firstname.lastname@example.org), and Peter Taylor, London based OSPRI (+44(0) 1234 576459; PTaylor@ipieca.org).
8. (SBU) COMMENT: Like the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization (BSEC), the Black Sea Commission is not viewed as a highly effective organization. However, with industry help, it has increased its capacity and role in coordinating oil spill response between Black Sea littoral states. Although the Black Sea Commission has the lead on environmental issues, industry experts see a role for BSEC in also being involved in oil spill response and shipping and port standards. Industry in Turkey recognizes progress in Turkey's oil spill response readiness, but sees the need to improve and "play" coordination. There could be a role as observer for the U.S. Coast Guard at the September exercise at Eregli.