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Energy, Climate change, Environment

Oil Platform Leaks


The scope of this challenge was to check the fitness for use of the available marine data sets to monitor any oil spill over the Black Sea*, including the spill trajectory, environmental and coastal impacts* within 24, and 72 hours after the accident, or to indicate gaps in the EU data collection framework during the time period specified below.

* the statistical likelihood that sensitive coastal habitats or species or tourist beaches will be affected

This activity of the EU BlackSea checkpoint project (DG MARE contract n° EASME/EMFF/2014/ was executed during the period 2015-2018.The methodology used was identical for all challenges

  • Production of a literature survey to identify state of the art activities related to the use case and clarify the landscape of monitoring data covering the BlackSea;
  • Specification of needs for production and realisation of the product;
  • Evaluation of the adequacy of monitoring data, that is their availability and appropriateness.

The team participating in the challenge was:

  • ORION Joint Research and Development Centre. ORION, Cyprus (Leader)
  • Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change, CMCC, Italy
  • Institute of Oceanology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, IO-BAS, Bulgaria
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, NKUA, Greece


 Two products have been requested by the call, consecutive impacts bulletins at 24 and 72 hours after the declaration of the accident.The products are listed and accessible from the table given below. All products are representative of the following declaration of the accident. Each bulletin includes simulation results as spatio-temporal graphics with confidence limits as well as quality assessments indicators and expert reports.


10 May 2016 – Declaration of an oil spill accident

The position of the oil spill coincides with a blowout of a pipeline located on the seabed at the depth of 50 meters at position LAT = 44°.2494 N, LON = 29°. 47508E. The overall amount of oil released is set to 300m3 crude oil released during a period of 2 days.

Note here that the date of declaration of accidents for the plot platform leak simulation was common to all EMODnet checkpoint activities.


Name and  Specification of product
Access to product
Confidence limits
Product 01

Access our monitoring and impact bulletin releasing information on


  • likely trajectory of the slick at the sea surface,
  • distribution of the dispersed oil fraction,
  • subsurface behavior of the blowout,
  • conclusion that the oil did not reach the coastlines,
  • oil mass balance graph showing the distribution of the oil in the environment as a function of time,
  • local sea surface currents in the leak area,
  • wind speed in the oil mass center.
Good: meets less than 50% of the scope of the Targeted Product (see our appropriateness criteria) to get a full description, quality information, and citation.
Product 02

Access our monitoring and impact bulletin supplemented by

  • level of potential impact of the oil slick on the environment and human activity based on bathymetry;
  • coastal and seabed geomorphology;
  • environmental resources and fish stock; shipping lanes;
  • and the European protected areas.
Very good: meets more than 70% of the scope of the Targeted Product (see our appropriateness criteria) to get a full description, quality information, and citation.


Sample of the bulletin is given below:

The bulletin currently is built upon the University of Liege hydrodynamic forecasting products and the high temporal SKIRON winds forecast and the new CYCOFOS waves in the Black Sea, all free available on-line.

The Lagrangian oil spill model MEDSLIK is applied to calculate the slick trajectory using the 6-hr surface currents and SST from the University of Liege Black Sea Forecast System, 1-hr SKIRON wind fields, and 3-hr new CYCOFOS waves (see

After 24 hr from the accident, the 65.23% of the total released oil drifts to North/North-East following wind and sea currents, without any impact at the coastal zone. After 72 hr from the accident, it is expected that 59.51% of the total released oil will be located at the sea surface 72 hours after the reported incident. The oil at the surface is transported following the direction of winds and of the sea current and is not expected to impact the coastal zone even after 72 hours. The oil spill has been transported far away from the location of the incident though, one day after the oil release from the pipeline has been stopped. Despite the fact that the source of the oil spill located on the seabed, the amount of the dispersed oil constitutes a small fraction 4.5%. This is due mainly to the fact that the location of the subsurface source of the oil spill was at shallow water, i.e. at 50 m and the oil rise the surface very quickly. Moreover, the weak subsurface sea currents in the area of the oil spill source case an insignificant diversion of the oil plume from the vertical axis to the North-East, as the dominant sea currents.

Figure: Oil Fate parameters, evolution in time: oil spill at sea surface, oil evaporated, dispersed in the water column.

Required inputs

 Discover here the seven groups of characteristics, and the related environmental domains, Air, Biota-biology, Human activities, Marine water and Seabed-riverbed, as well as data providers.

Checkpoint results  

  • Expert evaluation report compiling feedback on the appropriateness of upstream data used in product realization,
  • Integrated reports compiling assessment feedback on the checkpoint:
    • Literature Survey: to discover all upstream data and possible uses;
    • First Data Adequacy Report on the stress test on availability* of all referenced data sets;
    • Second Data Adequacy Report on availability and appropriateness of all used data sets, for all challenges.

Use limitation and reference

The EMODnet Black Sea Checkpoint practical outputs are the results of the assessment exercise carried out to address the “challenges” specified by the call for tenders n° MARE/2014/09 aimed at determining how well the input data from the observing and monitoring systems existing at the sea basin scale fit the user needs to address them.

The product and any resultant data produced is a consequence of these tests and was provided on an “as is” basis. The information contained in the data products and in the descriptions (metadata) of the input data and of the data products making use of them is believed to be trustworthy at the time of production. However, its completeness, consistency, accuracy, and usability cannot be guaranteed.   Whilst every effort was made to ensure its reliability within the limits of present knowledge, no responsibility can be accepted by those involved in its compilation or publication for any consequential loss or damage arising from its use.

The producer disclaims any and all warranties, conditions, or representations (express, implied, oral or written), relating to the Product or any part thereof, including, without limitation, any and all implied warranties of quality, performance, suitability or fitness for a particular purpose to the full extent permitted by law. The Producer accepts no liability for loss suffered or incurred as a result of reliance on the Product or any output of its use. The Producer shall not be liable for any economic loss, loss of profit, loss of business or contract, depletion of goodwill or otherwise, in each case whether direct, or indirect or any indirect loss whatsoever (howsoever caused) including loss or damage suffered as a result of an action brought by any person which arise out of or in connection with the use of the Product or inability to use the Product.