Cargo Guidelines for F(P)SOs

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Published Date

July 2018

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Cargo Guidelines for F(P)SOs

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This new publication provides recommendations, best practice and guidance on the safety of cargo handling and associated operations on board F(P)SO facilities. This book will be of value to those involved in the design and management of F(P)SOs and all F(P)SO operators.

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This new publication offers guidelines for safe cargo handling and associated operations on board F(P)SOs. It supplements existing guidance in the International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals (ISGOTT), by addressing activities and procedures that are either outside the scope of ISGOTT or are conducted differently on F(P)SOs, which often have multiple operations taking place at the same time. This publication will be essential for F(P)SO operators, as well as anyone involved in their design and management.



Purpose and scope




Section one

Safety management

Safety management system

Safe work systems

Personal Protective Equipment


Section two

Hazardous materials associated with F(P)SO operations

Hydrogen sulphide

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials


Volatile Organic Compounds and BTEX



Bio-monitoring of personnel for toxic exposure


Section three

General hazards associated with F(P)SO operations

General principles

Control of potential ignition sources

Communications equipment

Use of tools

Lifting equipment


Section four

Storage tank atmosphere control and venting arrangements

Storage tank atmosphere control

Inert gas system

Hydrocarbon blanketing

Vapour recovery

Venting arrangements

Gas monitoring

Pyrophoric iron sulphide


Section five

F(P)SO cargo operations


Simultaneous Operations

Management of interfaces

Operability and maintainability

Safe design, stress and stability considerations

Cargo pumping arrangements

Cargo Guidelines for F(P)SOs

Pressure surge management

Tank coatings

Use of crude oil as fuel


Section six

Water management


Produced water

Tanks used for handling water

Chemical treatment

Drain systems


Section seven

Crude Oil Washing


Crude Oil Washing system maintenance


Section eight

Tank cleaning and gas freeing for entry


Water washing (open and closed loop)

Gas freeing


Section nine

Control of work in storage and ballast tanks

Preparation of tanks for entry

Tank entry procedures

Preparation of work site for hot work

Control of cold work and in-tank maintenance

Tank inspections

De-mucking of tanks



Example of a SIMOPS decision making matrix

Purpose and scope


This publication makes recommendations on the safety of cargo handling and associated operations on board Floating (Production) Storage and Offloading facilities (F(P)SOs). It supplements guidance in OCIMF’s International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals (ISGOTT) by addressing activities and procedures that are either outside the scope of ISGOTT or are conducted differently on F(P)SOs. The guidance is for F(P)SO operators, but will also be of interest to anyone involved in the design and management of F(P)SOs.


Fundamental differences exist between the operation of an F(P)SO and a tanker. An F(P)SO may remain on station for several years and may be required to concurrently undertake oil and gas processing, loading, water management, discharging and in-tank maintenance activities. Existing industry guidance for conventional tankers, e.g. ISGOTT, is not always suitable for F(P)SOs because it does not address the safe management of these concurrent activities. The purpose of this publication is to provide guidance, recommendations and best practice on management. Full attention is given to the need for robust planning and work scope development, supported by appropriate risk analysis and Permit to Work (PTW) systems.


This publication also takes into account the operational issues associated with the potential presence of contaminants in oil and gas streams, which may include, for example, mercury and hydrogen sulphide (H2S). Sediments in storage tanks may include harmful substances such as oilfield scales and Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORMs), which can pose potential health risks to personnel.

Many storage tank maintenance activities on an F(P)SO have to be undertaken while the unit is on station and handling oil and gas production streams. This publication provides recommendations on the safe isolation of tanks from the active systems and procedures for safe tank entry. Specific guidance is provided for hot and cold work in tanks, tank inspections and safe practices for the routine removal of sediments from cargo spaces.


Where differences exist between the recommendations in this publication for activities undertaken on F(P)SOs, and those in ISGOTT for oil tankers, the procedures detailed in this publication should be followed by F(P)SO personnel, with the aim of achieving equivalent or higher levels of safety.


Although the recommendations in this publication primarily relate to F(P)SOs that have a conventional hull form, much of the guidance can be equally applicable to other designs, e.g. those based on a cylindrical hull, as there are no fundamental differences in cargo management procedures. Operators of such units are encouraged to review the relevance of the guidance on a case-by-case basis.Routine cargo transfer operations to offtake tankers are outside the scope of this publication and are addressed in OCIMF’s Guidelines for Offshore Tanker Operations.


It is recommended that personnel competence assessment activities follow the guidance in OCIMF’s Competence Assurance Guidelines for F(P)SOs.


Always refer to the current edition of any publication referenced in this book.

OCIMF was formed in April 1970 in response to the growing public concern about marine pollution, particularly by oil, after the Torrey Canyon incident in 1967. In the early 1970s, a variety of anti-pollution initiatives were starting to emerge nationally, regionally and internationally, but with little coordination. Through OCIMF, the oil industry was able to play a stronger, coordinating role in response to these initiatives, making its professional expertise widely available through cooperation with governments and intergovernmental bodies.

OCIMF was granted consultative status at the IMO in 1971 and continues to present oil industry views at IMO meetings. Since then, its role has broadened to take account the changing maritime activities of its membership. Its remit now covers tankers, barges, offshore support vessels and terminals and its advice extends to issues like shipping in ice and large-scale piracy, which rarely troubled the oil industry when OCIMF was first created in the 1970s.

The current membership of OCIMF comprises 112 companies worldwide.

Today, OCIMF is widely recognised as the voice of the oil industry providing expertise in the safe and environmentally responsible transport and handling of hydrocarbons in ships and terminals and setting standards for continuous improvement. Membership is extensive and includes every oil major in the world along with the majority of National Oil Companies.

OCIMF has much to be proud of. Not only has it contributed to a substantial quantity of regulation at the IMO aimed at improving the safety of tankers and protecting the environment, but it has introduced important new guidance on pressing current issues such as piracy and Arctic shipping. With the process of introducing new Internationally-accepted regulation necessarily slow as it crosses many individual countries and jurisdictions, OCIMF is in the unique position of being able to leverage the expertise of its membership to press ahead with much needed guidance on important industry issues. This provides the means to improve practices in the membership and in the wider industry, and serves as a valuable reference for developing regulation.

Title: Cargo Guidelines for F(P)SOs
Subtitle: First Edition 2018
Number of Volumes: 1
Number of Pages: 140
Product Code: WS1633K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-764-2 (9781856097642), ISBN 10: 1-85609-764-1 (1856097641)
Published Date: July 2018
Binding Format: Hardback
Book Height: 305 mm
Book Width: 215 mm
Book Spine: 15 mm
Weight: 0.90 kg
Author: Oil Companies International Marine Forum

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