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By the Numbers

Tanker Safety

The data shows tanker safety in Canada and abroad is highly reliable and increasingly safe.

In its report, Energy Transportation and Tanker Safety in Canada, the Fraser Institute highlights how tanker transportation of crude oil is a reliable and safe mode of transporting energy resources to overseas markets. A few numerical highlights:

  • Zero: The number of significant crude oil spills in Canadian waters despite tens of thousands of transits on both East and West Coasts.
  • 20 years: The only major oil spill of any kind in Canadian waters in the last 20 years occurred in 2006 when the BC ferry Queen of the North sank with 240 tonnes of oil on board.*  
  • 30%: The decrease in Canadian shipping accidents in 2012 compared with the average between 2007-2011. Statistical analysis shows a significant downward trend in shipping accidents since 2003.
  • 3.7%: The volume of oil spilled in the 2000s when comparing the four decades beginning with the 1970s. Over this 40-year time span, 56% of the total volume of oil spilled worldwide occurred in 1970s, 20.5% in the 1980s and 19.8% in the 1990s. Improvements in regulations and technology have dramatically reduced the volume and frequency of oil spills even as global oil tanker traffic has risen significantly