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  Oil has become the prime fuel to be used in every sector. Most of the countries of the world import necessary oils from oil-rich countries due to the unavailability of oils in their own country. The transportation of these oils becomes very expensive and aren’t considered feasible if they are transported by road or by air. Hence, shipping is considered to be the best medium for their transportation. 

These ships, while carrying oil meet with accidents leading to spillage of oil on the ocean surface. Oil slicks are a common sight along the coastal shores and beaches. It spills during the transfer from ship to ship or shore due to the incorrect operation of valves, on ship board or at oil terminals. The spilt oil spreads into a circular patch, but when it is large, it floats as sheets of oil stretching many kilometers affecting the photosynthetic activity in oceans. 

As oil is not biodegradable it remains for long periods on the water surface, though a certain amount is lost by evaporation of lighter fraction. In another natural process oil gets emulsified breaking into droplets which sink to the bottom, picking up fine sand to form tar balls. Formation of such tar balls is dangerous to marine life and seabirds. Oil slicks are worsening day by day.


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