About Us

SOTEAG was established in 1977, building upon the pioneering work of the Sullom Voe Environmental Advisory Group (SVEAG). Today SOTEAG continues to develop and manage comprehensive scientific monitoring programmes that ensure the health of Shetland’s marine and coastal regions, surrounding the Sullom Voe Terminal and Port in the North Sea.

Since 1974, the Sullom Voe Terminal has been the focus of what we believe to be the most intensive monitoring programme of any industrial installation in the UK, Europe or elsewhere.

SOTEAG examines and advises on all environmental implications surrounding the Sullom Voe Terminal during construction, commissioning and operations (including ad hoc reconstruction, site rehabilitation and new developments), through to eventual decommissioning.

The reviewed area encompasses the zone that the Shetland Islands Council (SIC) is responsible for, including:

  • Tanker trading to Sullom Voe
  • Ship-to-ship transfer
  • West of Shetland activities

Under the European Habitats Directive, Sullom Voe has been deemed a Special Area of Conservation since 2004. SOTEAG advises on all environmental implications of terminal operations and new developments. SOTEAG is responsible for Sullom Voe’s environmental status and so it oversees and advises any third party developments that may impose on environmental conditions.

SOTEAG works alongside the international community and is an independent body with members drawn from academia, the oil industry, central and local government, government environmental agencies and indigenous industries with a maritime focus.

SOTEAG has a sub-committee who report back to the group on all issues:

One of the most important functions of SOTEAG is to provide early warning of environmental change and, if appropriate, to advise on remedial action, which if neglected or unheeded, could lead to unacceptable environmental consequences. This is achieved via the Monitoring Committee, compiled of independent scientific experts, who on an annual basis evaluate and analyse, environmental monitoring reports. This ensures that the health of the marine and coastal environment around the terminal is constantly maintained.

For copies of the most recent monitoring reports click here

Sullom Voe Association Ltd:

SOTEAG reports to and is funded by the Sullom Voe Association (SVA) Limited whose partners comprise:

SVA Ltd is responsible for policy relating to the design, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance, new development and the eventual decommissioning of the Sullom Voe Terminal.

SOTEAG currently coordinates the administration of The Shetland Oiled Wildlife Network (SOWN)

The Shetland Oiled Wildlife Network (SOWN) is a forum for knowledge sharing and information transfer between Shetland’s oiled wildlife stakeholders. The function of the network is to facilitate informed communication and cooperation between stakeholders, but the network itself is not responsible for delivering the oiled wildlife response.

The aims of the network are:

1) Shared awareness of the oiled wildlife resources and provisions held by each stakeholder
2) Shared awareness of modern-day oil spill response planning