Under the terms of the RECSO agreement, all member companies are obliged to maintain a minimum of two dispersant application systems; with a specified quantity of dispersant concentrate of approved type. In addition, a member is required to have available sufficient oil containment and recovery equipment for protection of its essential facilities and as a loan resource to other members.
The collective stockpile of equipment resources held by RECSO members is one of the largest in the world available for use in an emergency. The bulk of this equipment is available for inter-loan between member companies in an emergency on a cost rental basis.
During the past 30 years, RECSO has achieved its objectives and continues to provide vigilant services on emergency oil spills in co-ordination with national and international organisations.
However, it remains a well-known fact that no matter how immediate the response to any oil spill, it is ineffective and costly and in no way helps to negate the environmentally damaging effects of the discharge.
In the light of this, RECSO has gradually moved towards adopting a "Prevention is better than response" policy. And this prevention can only be achieved with the help of a comprehensive, active and operational anti-pollution programme.
RECSO has entrusted the Planning and Advisory Committee with the principal task of preparing such a programme which will not only extend to industrial operational oil spill but also to tanker generated intentional discharges which constitute a major cause of pollution in the region.
Towards this objective, RECSO member companies in the Gulf region have introduced an informal system of exchange of information on any defective or sub-standard oil tanker identified at any member facility. The purpose of this is to alert port operators of defective vessels and thereby prevent any potential oil pollution.
The same message was promulgated through Lloyd's List and conveyed to the tanker operators through RECSO member companies.
RECSO member companies are now taking stringent measures against sub-standard or defective tankers causing oil spill, while handling them at their terminals.
RECSO has also developed a communication link with terminals and commercial ports for monitoring tankers and ships which are potential polluters.