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Thames Estuary

Volume 885: debated on Friday 7 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will obtain, and publish in the Official Report, the total tonnage of crude oil and oil products that entered the Thames Estuary for each of the years 1964 to 1974, inclusive; and his estimate of the growth of this traffic over each of the next six years, assuming the proposed new refineries at Canvey Island and Cliffe are built and become operational.

Information has been provided by the Port of London Authority for traffic with destinations other than the Medway, and by the Port of Medway Authority for destinations in the Medway. Tonnages of oil moving in and out of the Thames estuary:

Units million tonnes
PeriodImportsExportsTotal*
196431·513·044·5
196533·013·346·3
196635·715·851·5
196737·715·753·4
196837·415·452·8
196937·813·751·5
197038·214·652·8
197136·612·148·7
197238·512·951·4
197338·913·952·8
197435·411·647·0
* The figures include oil brought into the estuary and subsequently re-exported.
Estimates of future tonnages are not available, but some indication of future trends might be derived from the terminal capacities proposed for the Canvey Island and Cliffe refineries, which, it is understood, are as follows:

Canvey Island:
Occidental6 million tonnes per annum
URL4 million tonnes per annum
Cliffe:
Burmah/Total6 million tonnes per annum

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will obtain, and publish in the Official Report, information relating to the total numbers and tonnage of oil tankers which are expected to enter the Thames Estuary to serve each of the three proposed oil refineries at Canvey Island and Cliffe, respectively, and the total number and tonnages of tankers and other vessels

Burmah/Total, CliffeOccidental, Canvey IslandUnited Refineries Ltd., Canvey Island
Crude petroleum 75,000 deadweight tons or larger111
Petroleum products—
30,000 deadweight tons1
20,000 deadweight tons3
13,000–18,000 deadweight tons12
4,000 deadweight tons51
1,500 deadweight tons720
1,000 deadweight tons320
500 deadweight tons20

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will obtain, and publish in the Official Report, information regarding the total number of oil tankers and vessels carrying other hazardous cargoes that entered the Thames Estuary in each of the years 1964 to 1974 inclusive.

Most vessels carry some form of hazardous cargo, ranging from paints and matches to chemicals and explosives. The following figures relate to vessels carrying crude oil and oil products, and liquefied natural gas:

Number of Vessels
PeriodFigures provided by the Port of London AuthorityFigures provided by the Port of Medway Authority
19643,2701,882
19653,4501,833
19663,4952,145
19673,7622,251
19683,8322,243
19693,9082,166
19703,5481,973
19712,9401,924
19722,8742,226
19732,5572,344
19742,403*
* Not yet available.