The westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Black Sea to the southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The economic and political association of 27 European member states, the European Union (EU) has developed a single market through which a standardized system of laws apply, and under this union, sixteen member states have adopted the euro as its common currency. In 2006, the EU had a gross inland energy consumption of 1,825 million tonnes of oil equivalent, with nuclear energy as the primary source of energy produced in the region. Currently, the EU imports around 82% of its oil and 57% of its natural gas resources.
Ballast Control is the control of balance and stability on a ship or vessel using a ballast, which is a compartment of the vessel that holds water, sand or iron. The ballast facilitates hydrodynamic stability by lowering the centre of gravity to compensate for harsh currents and weather and keeps floating structures stable. The Ballast Control Operator (BCO) is the crew member responsible for the controlling the vessel’s stability.