Transportation of refined products
A considerable volume of refined
products is already transported each year.
The routes taken vary according to fluctuations in supply and demand, with the main volumes being transported from one industrialised country to another. The nature of the products also varies, from the lightest highly volatile petrols (gasolines) to heavy fuel oils which have less of a propensity to evaporate, characterised at less than 10%.
Heavy fuel oils for thermal power stations are in great demand by countries, such as Italy, which choose not to use nuclear power to generate electricity, and are dreaded pollutants. The worst oil spill Japan has ever seen was caused by the wrecking of a Russian oil tanker, the Nakhodka, on 2 January 1997. The vessel was transporting a cargo of heavy fuel oil from Shanghai (China) to Vladivostok (Russia).
The oil spills caused by the Erika (France, 1999) and the Prestige (Spain, 2001) also involved heavy fuel oil.
Overturned bow of the Nakhodka