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Oil-tanker vetting gets tighter amid environmental safety concerns

The Deepwater Horizon disaster has clear ramifications for the offshore drilling industry, but there is fall out for the shipping industry, too

Oil companies adopting a belt-and-braces approach to environmental safety will herald a stricter tanker-vetting policy. While the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was not a shipping disaster, the resulting public outcry and the pursuit of firms associated with Deepwater Horizon for financial damages has created a climate where oil companies are desperate to minimise environmental risks across the supply chain – and that includes tanker safety. Tanker owners have already highlighted evidence of a tougher inspection regime. "Oil company vetting criteria have become more strict," says Jens Martin Jensen, chief executive of Frontline, one of the world's largest supertanker operators. Jensen notes that

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