In its full form, RECSO stands for the Regional Clean Sea Organisation. As the title clearly indicates, RECSO is an oil industry co-operative organisation functioning on the concept of “mutual aid”.

RECSO was officially set up in 1972 by 13 founder members. The oil companies in the region at that time recognized a need for collective response to major oil pollution incidents and thus came together to achieve a common objective – protecting the Gulf’s resources from oil pollution.

In addition to arrangements for mutual aid in times of oil spill emergencies, provision was also made for reimbursement of costs incurred by member companies in responding to oil spills originating from another member’s installation or facilities.

Today, though the original objective of the organisation – oil spill response through mutual aid – remains the same, the circumstances in which the oil industry operations are conducted these days are significantly different from the conditions that prevailed in the period from 1972 to 1990. It was against this changed background that RECSO has had to expand its activities in a more pro-active direction.