Environment, Energy
& Climate Change

Oil Leaks & Spills

Why is it material?

Managing the risk of spills is directly related to the safe, socially and environmentally responsible operation of all our facilities.

Our main activities, including oil refining, storage and transport, involve the risk of spills due to unforeseen operational malfunctions or accidents, and most of them are land based and adjacent to the aquatic environment (sea).

All precautionary and risk reducing measures are in place to manage the risk of spills, to protect employees, the environment and company’s sustainability.

Our approach

At all operational stages, we identify and manage all possible risks in order to mitigate them on time and minimize the consequences of unforeseen operational incidents and accidents.

We apply rigorous risk management and control measures, which are evaluated regularly for continuous improvement according to best internationally recognized practices.

During the transport of crude oil and other products, the Marine Pollution Contingency Plan is strictly enforced in all port facilities (in coordination with the Local and National Pollution Response Plan), by organized personnel teams and use of appropriate technical equipment and materials. Regular preparedness drills are conducted in cooperation with all pertinent authorities.

Safety standards for maritime and inland product transport by trucks and tankers are adhered to through ongoing controls, including compliance with international Regulations and treaties, such as the International MARPOL Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.

During the production process at the refineries’ facilities, in accordance with the approved Environmental Permits, there is a system for continuous monitoring of the subsoil and groundwater in order to control and prevent their pollution from potential hydrocarbon leakage.

In addition to the above, response drills for leakage into the soil are conducted based on possible scenarios in accordance with relevant procedures and with all available resources and support for optimal management.

Our ambition

We are committed to continuously reinforce prevention measures along with directly and effectively responding to potential spills.

Our goal is zero spills on land and bodies of water and in the event of an unavoidable leakage, our goal is immediate response and remediation.


Quantitative Data

The Group was among the first worldwide to adopt the new process safety indicators according to CONCAWE guidelines and in full alignment with API RP 754, 2016 (Recommended Practice 754, “Process Safety Performance Indicators for the Refining and Petrochemical Industries”), including those related to leaks and spills at all its industrial facilities.

Specifically, all relevant indicators related to unplanned or uncontrolled leaks of any material, including non-toxic and non-flammable materials (i.e. steam, hot condensate, nitrogen or other inert gases, compressed CO2 or compressed air) are monitored.

As is evident from the above paragraph, all monitored leaks are not associated with environmental impacts, with the exception of those related to hazardous substances that were not adequately addressed by measures to prevent contact with land or water.


Process safety events based on CONCAWE definitions

Process Safety Event (PSΕ-1) 5 0 0
Process Safety Event (PSΕ-2) 11 0 2
Total Process Safety Events (PSΕ) 16 0 1
Process Safety Event Rate (PSΕR) 2.62 0 0.51

The following diagram shows the fluctuation of the Total Process Safety Event Rate (PSER), which corresponds to the total number of process safety events per one million man-hours compared to the relevant CONCAWE indicator.

The indicator shows an increase of 28% within 2018 compared to the previous year. The increase in the PSER index is related to equipment reliability, design and procedures for which a number of corrective actions have already been taken, while others are currently under implementation. To reduce these indicators, an annual target to minimize process safety events is set in all industrial facilities with the ultimate goal of achieving zero incidents.

Process safety event rate (PSER)

Prevention & Mitigation
& Remediation Actions

The HELLENIC PETROLEUM Group applies rigorous procedures and emergency response plans to address pollution in the event of an oil spill. Preparedness and response drills are regularly carried out at all facilities in the event of land or marine spills in cooperation with competent authorities accordingly.


  • At our three refineries, we continuously monitor the subsoil and groundwater to control and prevent pollution in the event of a hydrocarbon leak, in addition to strictly implementing the Marine Pollution Protection/Prevention Procedure for spill incidents during product and raw material loading and unloading at port facilities. Especially in the case of oil spills at sea, it is underlined that response strategy for each incident is determined in cooperation with the competent authorities (port authority, associated Ministry) and actions & preventive measures taken during each incident are in accordance with the provisions of the Local Pollution Prevention Plan. Means and equipment used in order to manage spills include oil containment booms, skimmers, dispersants and other absorbent or adsorbent materials.
  • HELLENIC PETROLEUM’s marine fleet has Emergency Plans to avoid pollution from oil spills in accordance to MARPOL Regulation 73/78, which sets out the required actions to stop or mitigate impacts in the event of an oil spill caused by an accident during operation, or as a result of a serious incident such as a collision or explosion.
  • In fuel storage facilities, leaks are managed through Emergency Plans that address all leak events that may occur at tank dikes, pumping stations, truck loading stations, pipelines, etc.
  • At EKO’s petrol stations, strict rules are in place to manage any leak that could occur during the customer/consumer vehicle refueling process, which in this case is associated with safety hazards rather than environmental impacts. Indicatively, safety rules also cover oil and petrol leaks, but LPG and natural gas as well.

LPG (Autogas) leak during vehicle fueling operation

  • 1. Interrupt

    vehicle fueling operation using the Emergency Shut-off Button of the LPG pump

  • 2. Interrupt

    all vehicle fueling operations using the Emergency Shut-off Button of the fuel station

  • 3. Remove

    all passengers away from the vehicle

  • 4. Move the car away

    from the dispensing area without turning its engine on

  • 5. The vehicle is transported

    to a workshop for service

Gasoline/Diesel leak during vehicle fueling operation

  • 1. Interrupt

    vehicle fueling operation

  • 2. Close

    the vehicle’s fill cap

  • 3. Use

    absorbent material to clean up the leak. DO NOT use water

  • 4. Move the car away

    from the dispensing area without turning its engine on

  • 5. Use

    absorbent material to clean up the leak. DO NOT use water

CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) leak during vehicle fueling operation

  • 1. Interrupt

    vehicle fueling operation using the Emergency Shut-off Button of the CNG pump

  • 2. Do not move the car away

    from the dispensing area

  • 3. Remove all passengers away

    all passengers away from the vehicle

  • 4. Call


  • 5. Call

    the Fire Brigade

  • 6. Move the car away

    from the dispensing area without turning its engine on

Next Steps

Baseline reports showing the current status of soil and groundwater at the industrial sites in accordance with the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED 2010/75/ EU).

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