The compensation schedule approach for the assessment of oil spill damages to marine resources of the RSA

Saif M. Al-Ghais, Walter H. Pearson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


Several oil spills have occurred in UAE waters, but the assessment of oil spill damages has proved as problematic here as elsewhere. We offer a compensation schedule approach to overcome potential difficulties in damages assessment and examine several scenarios in which the schedule approach might be useful. An oil spill damages assessment generally has four steps: 1) identify the resources at risk, 2) demonstrate injury to resources, 3) determine the extent of any injury in space and time, and 4) estimate the economic value or damages associated with the injury. There are technical and other difficulties at each stage. Compensation schedules have been developed to address translation of oil contamination and resource exposure and injuries into economic damages when information is incomplete or can not be obtained without inordinate effort. Information on the amount and type of oil spilled, the amount of oil recovered, the season, the habitats oiled, the resources exposed, and the value and sensitivity of the resources is used in the schedule to establish the economic value losses associated with the spill. We believe that an oil spill compensation schedule developed in more detail for the ROPME Sea Area would enable rapid calculation of damages without large or time-consuming studies. A developed schedule is more likely to be used, and its more frequent and widespread use would enhance its value as a deterrent to less than full attention to oil spill prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProtecting the Gulf's Marine Ecosystems from Pollution
PublisherBirkhäuser Basel
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783764379469
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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