Crude Oil Tanker Basics: The Theory and Practice of Crude Oil Cargo Operations

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Published Date

October 2009

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Crude Oil Tanker Basics: The Theory and Practice of Crude Oil Cargo Operations

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This book covers the basics of crude oil tanker operations, including cargo transfer, venting, purging, pump theory, and inert gas and crude oil washing systems.



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What precious time is spent on cargo duties is often used in learning how to use the automated cargo control systems and therefore not covering the basics of operating crude oil tankers (whether they be Suezmax, VLCC or ULCCs) and their related activities such as venting, purging, understanding the operation of cargo pumps and the fundamentals of Inert Gas and Crude Oil Washing Systems.

All of these operations, and more, are explained in this new 192 page book, which is supported with photographs taken onboard a new build VLCC.


1 Crude Oil Extraction


2 Crude Oil Chemistry

2.1 Classification of Crude Oil

2.2 Properties of Crude Oil

2.2.1 Density

2.2.2 Vapour Pressure

2.2.3 Flash Point

2.2.4 Pour Point

2.2.5 Wax Content

2.2.6 Cloud Point

2.2.7 Viscosity

2.2.8 Basic Sediments and Water (BS&W)

2.2.9 Sulphur Content

2.2.10 Benzene Content


3 Measurement of Cargo Quantity

3.1 Level Measurement (Tank Gauging)

3.2 Temperature Measurement

3.3 Detecting Water


4 Calculating Cargo Quantity

4.1 Calculating the Cargo Requirement

4.2 Calculating the Weight of Cargo

4.3 Calculating the Volume of Cargo

4.4 Cargo Distribution

4.5 Load Port Calculations

4.6 Calculation of Cargo Loaded and Discharged

4.7 Calculating Residual Quantities

4.8 Comparing Onboard Quantities with Bill of Lading (B/L) Figures

4.8.1 Gross and Net Quantities

4.8.2 Vessel Inspection Factor (VEF)


5 Loading Rates and Venting

5.1 Maximum Loading Rate

5.2 Minimum Loading Rate

5.3 Topping off Loading Rate

5.4 Cargo Tank Vetting During Loading

5.4.1 Venting Requirements

5.4.2 Venting Using a Mast Riser

5.4.3 Venting Using Hi-Velocity Vents

5.4.4 Loading Using Vapour Recovery

5.4.5 Essential Components of a VECS

5.4.6 Loading Rates under a VECS

5.4.7 Preparations Prior to Arrival at a Loading Port where a VECS is to be used.


6 Preparing for Cargo Transfer

6.1 Planning

6.1.1 The Planning Process

6.1.2 Updating the Plan

6.2 Testing and Checking Equipment


7 The Loading Operation

7.1 Initial Loading Phase

7.2 Full Rate Phase

7.3 Topping off and changing Over Tanks

7.4 Completing Phase


8 Pumping and Pump Theory

8.1 Pressure and Head

8.1.1 Units of Pressure

8.2 Pump Suction Conditions

8.3 Pump Discharge Conditions

8.4 Construction and Principles of Operation of Centrifugal Pumps

8.4.1 Pump Affinity Laws

8.5 Pump Suction Conditions

8.6 Discharge Conditions

8.6.1 Using HQ Curves and System Curves

8.6.2 Changing Pump Speed

8.6.3 Total Discharge Head and Volumetric Flow Rate with Two Pumps Operating in Parallel

8.6.4 High Shore Resistance Conditions

8.6.5 Low Shore Resistance Conditions

8.6.6 Practical Considerations When Operating Centrifugal Pumps

8.7 Water Hammer

8.8 Stripping Systems

8.8.1 Stripping Pumps

8.8.2 Eductors

8.8.3 Automatic Cargo Pump Stripping System (Vac Strip)


9 Cargo Discharge Operations

9.1 Commencement of Discharge

9.2 Discharging at Full Rate

9.3 Stripping

9.4 Stripping Line Contents


10 Inert Gas

10.1 Chemistry of Inert Flue Gas

10.2 Production and Processing of Inert Flue Gas

10.3 Preparing the IG System

10.4 Primary Inerting

10.5 Purging

10.6 Monitoring Gas Concentrations

10.7 Operation of the IG System during Cargo Discharge

10.8 Cold Weather Precautions when Using the IG System


11 Crude Oil Washing (COW)

11.1 The Chemistry of COW

11.2 Hazards of COW

11.2.1 Ignition as a Result of Electrostatic Generation

11.2.2 Oil Spillage as a Result of Leakage from a COW Piping System or Tank Cleaning Machine

11.3 COW Methodology

11.3.1 COW Tanks with Homogeneous Cargo

11.3.2 COW Tanks with Different Grades of Crude Oil

11.3.3 Dealing with Residual ROB after COW

11.4 Programming COW Machines

11.4.1 Azimuth Rotational Speed (rpm)

11.4.2 Pitch Angle (Degrees per Rotation)

11.4.3 Vertical Wash Angle (Degrees)


12 Ballasting, Deballasting and Crude Oil Content Discharge Control

12.1 Ballast Tank Arrangements

12.2 Piping and Pumps

12.3 Venting Arrangement

12.4 Oil Discharge Monitoring and Control Equipment (ODME)

12.5 Ballasting and Deballasting Segregated Ballast Tanks (SBTs)

12.5.1 Ballasting

12.5.2 Deballasting

12.6 Ballasting and Debasllating Cargo Tanks

12.6.1 Ballasting Cargo Tanks that have not been Water Washed

12.6.2 Heavy Weather Ballasting

12.6.3 Ballasting Cargo Tanks on Occasions other than in Heavy Weather

12.6.4 Pre-Ballasting Checklist

12.6.5 Testing the Integrity of Sea Valves

12.6.6 Controlling the Operation of Sea Valves

12.6.7 Ballasting Previously Water Washed Cargo Oil Tanks

12.6.8 Deballasting Clean Ballast from Cargo Tanks

12.6.9 Discharging Dirty Ballast from Cargo Oil Tanks

12.7 Decanting

12.8 Ballast Exchange


13 Preparing for Maintenance

13.1 Tank Cleaning / Washing

13.1.1 Tank Cleaning Systems

13.1.2 Assessing the Degree of Tank Cleaning Required

13.1.3 Preparing for Tank Cleaning

13.1.4 Tank Washing Method

13.1.5 Tank Washing Procedure

13.2 Line Washing

13.2.1 Points to Consider when Planning Line Washing

13.2.2 Typical Line Washing Method

13.2.3 Precautions to be taken during Line Washing

13.3 Gas Freeing

13.4 Gas Detection and Measurement

13.4.1 Sensors Commonly used in portable Gas Detection Instruments

13.4.2 Maintenance and Calibration of Gas Detection Instruments

13.4.3 Measurement

13.5 Operations Requiring Tank Cleaning and Line Washing

13.5.1 Sludge Removal

13.5.2 Rafting

13.5.3 Hot Work

13.5.4 Cold Work


14 Contingencies and Emergencies

14.1 Cargo Equipment or Systems Failure

14.2 Problems during Pumping

14.3 Inert Gas System Failure

14.3.1 Immediate Action to be taken in the event of IGS Failure

14.3.2 Use of Topping up Inert Gas Generator as Emergency Inert Gas Supply During Discharge

14.3.3 Use of a Shore Supplied Portable IG Generator

14.4 Cargo or Ballast Leakage

14.4.1 Consequences of Tank Leakage

14.4.2 Sources of Leakage

14.4.3 Indications of Leakage

14.4.4 Valve Failure

14.4.5 ODME Failure

14.4.6 Dealing with Contaminated Segregated Ballast

14.5 Marine Pollution

14.5.1 Oil Spills

14.5.2 Isolating the Source of a Deck Oil Spill

14.5.3 Containing an Oil Spill Onboard

14.5.4 Transfer of Oil Accumulated on Deck

14.5.5 Clean Up of Oil Spilled on Deck

14.5.6 Reporting Oil Spills

14.5.7 Pump room Spillage

14.5.8 Recording Oil Spills

14.6 Oil Outflow due to Hull Damage

14.6.1 Grounding

14.6.2 Hull Leakage as a Result of Contract with Fixed or Floating Objects

14.6.3 Oil Pollution of unknown Origin



15 Crude Oil Trade, Voyage Fixing and Economics

15.1 Crude Oil Trading

15.2 Chartering

15.3 Charter Types

15.4 Voyage Economics

15.5 Crude Oil Trade

Title: Crude Oil Tanker Basics: The Theory and Practice of Crude Oil Cargo Operations
Number of Volumes: 1
Number of Pages: 192
Product Code: WS1078K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-905331-63-5 (9781905331635), ISBN 10: 1-905331-63-0 (1905331630)
Published Date: October 2009
Binding Format: Paperback
Book Height: 280 mm
Book Width: 165 mm
Book Spine: 10 mm
Weight: 0.80 kg
Author: Paul Armitage

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