IMF Fingerprinting Indicates Bunker Fuel Offshore Tobago

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(Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, 23.Feb.2024) — The Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) advises that preliminary fingerprinting reports submitted to the MEEI from the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA), indicate the hydrocarbon discharge affecting the south east coast of Tobago is an ‘intermediate fuel oil.’

These reports were generated from samples taken from three areas including the shoreline at Canoe Bay; 200 meters from the vessel; and near the vessel. Fingerprinting analyses of the samples were performed using ‘Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)’. Analyses of the hydrocarbon discharge collected in Tobago indicates that the samples are characteristic of a refined oil.

In industrial applications, an ‘intermediate fuel oil’ is also referred to as ‘bunker fuel’. Bunker fuel is the colloquial term for fuel oil used by marine vessels. Bunker fuels A, B, and C are respectively downgrading quality-classifications of fuel oil, characterized by their boiling points, carbon-chain lengths, and viscosities, all of which contribute to their value. Fuel oils are a class of oils used in ocean vessels made from refining crude oil and blending with refinery distillates. Currently, most of the global shipping fleet, relies on Bunker C fuel oil.


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