Case study 1: Oil refinery – discharge into estuarine environments
In the oil refinery case study, high concern has been revealed particularly for inlets and transitional waters (Table 5.1). This finding can be explained by the importance of this habitat type for the provision of certain ecosystem services (e.g. natural hazard regulation, recreation and ecotourism) and its potentially close proximity to the point of discharge. Oil refineries are often located on estuaries (see Section 4.1.1) and are thus in direct contact with transitional waters, which potentially leads to high levels of exposure. Medium concern has been found for a number of habitat x ecosystem service combinations. Increased concern became less frequent in habitats at larger distance from the source, i.e. shelf and particularly in the open ocean.
Table 5.1: Oil refinery – ecosystem services of concern with examples of SPUs involved in the delivery of potentially threatened services. Black: high concern; dark grey: medium concern; light grey: low concern; white: negligible concern