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OCIMF recently published the new VIQ-7 questionnaire which will be in effect from 17 September 2018 onward. With respect to Ship to Ship transfer Operations a radical update took place, incorporating requirements of MARPOL as well as best practice processes referring to record keeping, beyond to the checklists used until now. The new requirements (Section 8.54 of new VIQ) need from SIRE inspectors to review the following records: 

  1. STS Checklists as per latest ICS/OCIMF/SIGTTO/CDI guidelines edition 2013
  2. The JPO (Joint Plan of operations) as provided by the service provider
  3. Risk assessment as submitted by the Service Provider
  4. Detailed Mooring Plan of participating vessels.
  5. Copies of certificates of fender and hoses
  6. Notification to coastal authorities
  7. Details of Drills associated with the specific STS Operation
  8. Records of Crew Experience
  9. Post feedback/ assessment by the Master 

Indirectly the request for availability of such records has the following purposes:

  • To direct/instruct Masters to request from STS Service Providers the necessary documentation prior to an STS operation, in line with ICS/OCIMF/SIGTTO/CDI guidelines edition 2013, rather than relying on the willingness or promptness of the STS Service providers to provide same and
  • To drive tanker operators towards a self-regulatory framework for Ship to Ship transfers. 

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At Aqaba, the majority of dry bulk cargo consignments are grains such as wheat, barley corn and soya bean meal. The first two commodities are imported by the Ministry of Industry and Trade as they are strategic commodities and the last two are for the private industrial sector.

The major issue that faces these particular bulk cargoes is short-landing claims that may only be presented after completion of discharge. Such claims will usually be followed by a security demand for the full shortage amount before the Port Authority allows the vessel to sail.

The cargo quantity discharged at Aqaba is determined either by silo readings or by local weigh bridge scales, if cargo is being discharged into trucks. The Port Authority in charge of the discharge operation at Aqaba issue an official report confirming the final figures discharged. Either this outturn report, the supplementary outturn report, or the receivers’ report describe the condition and quantity of cargo as discharged and received by receivers and is binding in local courts. Draft survey figures are not accepted by either the court or the Port Authority unless evidence is submitted that the contents of the official documentation are either erroneous or forged.

A Trade Allowance of 0.5% of the manifested quantity (for natural loss) is accepted by the courts but is not automatically deducted from the total claim amount as this has to be negotiated.

If a security demand or bank guarantee is required during out of office hours there are procedures in place (Club LOU or P&I correspondents’ LOU) to prevent delays that permit vessels to sail.

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Background

Contaminated bunker fuel with the potential to damage ships’ engines has been found in Singapore, the world’s top bunkering port.

The Singapore-based marine fuel surveyor and consulting firm Maritec Pte Ltd said it knew of six cases where fuel sold in Singapore had “resulted in severe sludging at centrifuges, clogged pipelines and overwhelmed fuel filters”.

“Fuels from Singapore are exported to all ASEAN countries and even all the way to Hong Kong,” Maritec said. “It should therefore be expected that the whole region will be affected.”

Assessment and Analysis

There were cases early in 2018 of contaminated fuel being supplied from ports in the U.S. Gulf Coast, Panama and the Dutch Antilles.

By late July it appeared that the contaminated fuels had made their way from the US Gulf and into the Asia bunker supply chain.

Singapore-based bunker traders said the fuels were hard to detect because they contained compounds – styrene and phenols – that were not generated by the refining process and were not the focus of routine tests.

According to Maritec the first problem in Asia emerged in April with a vessel that had taken on fuel in Malaysia. It lost power off the coast of Vietnam and had to be towed into port. All its fuel pumps had been damaged.

Many of the vessels that took on the tainted fuel early in 2018 required extensive flushing and repair.

The initial source of the contamination has yet to be identified.

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Photo: Anatoly Menzhiliy / Shutterstock

 

DUBAI, July 26 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two crude tankers, underscoring risks caused by the conflict in the world’s top oil exporting region.

Iran, in its row with the United States over sanctions, has also threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, the other major strategic shipping route for oil from the region and the main route for Iranian crude exports.

Below are facts about region’s shipping routes:

BAB AL-MANDEB

Any move to block the Bab al-Mandeb, the narrow waterway between the coasts of Yemen and Africa at the southern end of the Red Sea, would virtually halt oil shipments through Egypt’s Suez Canal or the SUMED crude pipeline that link the Red Sea and Mediterranean.

The SUMED pipeline, with capacity for 2.34 million bpd, runs roughly parallel to the Suez Canal and can be used by oil tankers that cannot navigate the canal waterway.

An estimated 4.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and refined petroleum products flowed through the strait in 2016 to Europe, the United States and Asia, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Reuters data shows Saudi crude exports through Bab al-Mandeb, which is about 18 miles (29 km) wide at its narrowest point between Djibouti’s coast and the Yemeni mainland, are estimated to be 500,000-700,000 bpd.

Closing the strait, which has a shipping channel just two miles (3.2 km) wide, would force oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers around the southern tip of Africa, extending the distance for a vessel travelling between Saudi Arabia and the United States by 2,700 miles (4,300 km).

This would add weeks to the journey time and extra costs, although Saudi Arabia could export its crude along that route on non-Saudi vessels.