USA Barge Operations: Guidelines and Best Practices for Liquid Hydrocarbon Barges and Associated Tugs (eBook)

Published Date

June 2014

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USA Barge Operations: Guidelines and Best Practices for Liquid Hydrocarbon Barges and Associated Tugs (eBook)

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This guide describes recommended best practices for managing and operating ocean and inland barges, towboats and tugs that carry and transport crude oil and petroleum products in bulk. The focus is on operations within the USA, but much of the guidance may be relevant to barge operations in other parts of North America and in other regions.

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The guide builds on the recommendations in accepted industry publications, such as the International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals (ISGOTT). Additionally, this guide is intended to complement any applicable international conventions, national legislation, local laws and Classification Society rules.


Although the guide is primarily intended for use by tug and barge operators, it may also be of interest to prospective charterers, oil company vetting departments, terminal staff and government officials.


A generic guide such as this is not specific to all types of vessels in all locations. Readers should decide carefully whether to apply the guide in particular circumstances.


References within the guide to particular codes should be checked to verify that only the latest editions of the codes are used.






Section One

Safety management

1.1 Safety management system

1.2 Drug and alcohol policy


Section Two

Certification and documentation

2.1 Requirements and recommendations

2.2 Documents and certificates

2.3 Insurance


Section Three

Crew management

3.1 Manning

3.2 Qualifications and training

3.3 Crew manning during cargo transfer operations

3.4 Preventing fatigue


Section Four

Security and vessel access

4.1 International Ship and Port Facility Security Code

4.2 Security arrangements in the USA

4.3 Access between vessel and shore


Section Five

Navigation, communications and electronics

5.1 Vessel operator’s navigation policy

5.2 Voyage planning and equipment testing

5.3 Bridge procedures and avoiding collisions

5.4 Nautical publications, charts and information

5.5 Navigation and communications equipment


Section Six

Cargo and ballast systems and procedures

6.1 Cargo handling equipment

6.2 Cargo handling procedures

6.3 Machinery rooms, pumphouses and pumprooms

6.4 Tank cleaning and gas freeing

6.5 Inert gas systems

6.6 Vapor recovery and venting

6.7 Material safety data

6.8 Static accumulator cargoes

6.9 Requirements for cargoes containing hydrogen sulfide

6.10 Hose handling booms and cranes


Section Seven

Bunkering operations

7.1 Overview

7.2 Bunkering operations

7.3 Vessel to vessel bunkering operations – additional considerations


Section Eight

Vessel to vessel transfers

8.1 Plans and procedures

8.2 Fenders

8.3 Transfer hoses

8.4 Communications


Section Nine

Pollution prevention and response

9.1 Emergency response

9.2 Cargo systems and spill containment

9.3 Inspecting and testing of cargo pipes and hoses

9.4 Spill response equipment

9.5 Oil record book

9.6 Garbage management plan

9.7 Vessel General Permit


Section Ten

Fire-fighting and safety equipment

10.1 Fire prevention

10.2 Fire-fighting equipment

10.3 Personal protective equipment

10.4 Lifesaving equipment

10.5 General alarm system


Section Eleven

Mooring and anchoring

11.1 Mooring

11.2 Anchoring


Section Twelve

Towing/pushing equipment and procedures

12.1 Tug design

12.2 Towing equipment and procedures – tugs

12.3 Towing equipment and procedures – barges

12.4 Tug fendering

12.5 Training and drills


Section Thirteen

Machinery spaces and systems

13.1 Maintenance

13.2 Equipment

13.3 Steering systems

13.4 Hazard control


Section Fourteen

Structural maintenance

14.1 Inspection and gauging

14.2 Corrosion control

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: USA Barge Operations: Guidelines and Best Practices for Liquid Hydrocarbon Barges and Associated Tugs (eBook)
Edition: First
Number of Pages: 124
Product Code: WS1416EA
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-637-9 (9781856096379), ISBN 10: 1-85609-637-8 (1856096378)
Published Date: June 2014
Author: Oil Companies International Marine Forum

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