Not Logged In, Login,

Saturday, October 20, 2018


ISTEC Chairman, Nikos Mikelis and INTERTANKO’s MD, Peter Swift joined representatives of the IMO, the USCG, the European Commission, the Danish, UK Belgian, Finnish, Latvian and Belgian maritime administrations, UK P&I, ICS, BIMCO and Intercargo at the 5th International Seminar in St. Petersburg, Russia. The seminar ‘Substandard Shipping: Solution through Partnership. Safety Chain – Transparent Responsibilities’ was hosted by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.

Dr. Nikos Mikelis in his presentation made the case for the establishment of an ‘Industry Technical Committee to IACS’.


He spoke of changes in the process of self-regulation and in the roles and functions of classification societies, suggesting that they should perhaps be referred as to “certification societies”. He also made reference to the importance of service experience feedback in the development of new rules and contrasted the process at the IMO with that in IACS. Additionally he cited various productive industry initiatives with classification societies in the recent past, such as development work on Condition Assessment Schemes and with OCIMF and INTERTANKO on the ‘Aide Memoire’ on Tanker issues.


A copy of his presentation may be viewed here.


Copies of all the presentations from the seminar will be available on the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping website: Click here.


In Peter Swift’s presentation ‘New Oil – New Responsibilities’, he focused on Russian oil exports but said that his messages had application to other oil movements through environmentally sensitive regions. Introducing the subject he highlighted that energy exports are of crucial importance to the Russian Federation accounting for approximately 40% by value of the total and for over 13% of the country’s real GDP. As the world’s largest exporter of natural gas, Russia has also now emerged as one of the largest oil exporters, with oil revenues accounting for approximately 25% of the Russian government’s income.


These oil exports are increasingly by sea from Russian ports, principally from the Baltic and the Black Sea, and with others moving overland via Transneft’s Druzhba and other pipelines. These pipelines, together with railroads, are also carrying ‘transit oil’ from neighbouring countries to outlets on Russia’s coast for eventual export. New developments in the next few years will see additional volumes moving through to the Adriatic Sea, as well as from the Arctic Region, Eastern Siberia and Sakhalin Island.


In turn, Europe and latterly the USA have become increasingly dependent on crude oil and products imports from Russia. In the coming years this is likely to increase further, while China, Japan and other Asian countries are also expected to place increased dependence on Russian oil.


The sea-routes associated with these exports – through the Bosporous, the Baltic and the ice-infested waters to the north and east – present particular challenges, many of them environmental, for the ships and their operators. These are compounded by the economic necessity in many cases to maximise the exporting ship’s deadweight to the available port facilities and in other cases to use lightering tankers for transhipment to larger vessels.


The presentation covered recent developments in the growth of oil exports from Russia and the plans for the additional volumes. It also examined the sea routes taken by the export tankers and the sensitivities in the different regions. In conclusion Mr Swift suggested that for the movements of this oil to be sustained it will require responsible management of the the ships undertaking this business.


A copy of the slides used in his presentation may be viewed here

: Peter Swift, e-mail: