Major oil spills attract the attention of the public and the media. In recent years, this attention has created a global awareness of the risks of oil spills and the damage they do to the environment. Oil is a necessity in our industrial society, however, and a major component of our lifestyle. Most of the oil and petroleum products used in Canada and the United States are for transportation. According to trends in petroleum usage, this is not likely to decrease much in the future. Industry uses oil and petroleum derivatives to manufacture such vital products as plastics, fertilizers, and chemical feedstocks, which will still be required in the future.