Shuttle Tanker Committee Meeting

Particular attention was given at this meeting to IMO proposed guidelines for the application of MARPOL regulations to FPSO and FSU units, including the new Form C of the IOPP certificate. The Committee agreed with most of the provisions in the proposed guidelines but was critical of a few suggested provisions, particularly those regarding the oily-water overboard discharges, including the use of an ODM.

The Committee agreed with the concerns raised in a German submission to IMO with regard to the corrosion rates on single-hulled tankers after they had been converted to FSU units. However, it appears that the German Administration is not aware of the strict assessment of the structure of the tanker that is made prior to such a conversion. It was agreed that INTERTANKO should adopt a pro-active attitude and advise IMO on these procedures. INTERTANKO may also suggest that IMO adopts a special inspection programme at the time of conversion. The main elements of such an assessment would be: structural inspection and assessment, fatigue calculation and coating of cargo tanks. The assessment should have a defined minimum acceptable standard, such as CAP 2, for example.

The Committee also discussed the apparent regulatory discrepancies in manning and personnel training onboard shuttle tankers and onboard the Articulated Tank Barges (ATB) that operate now in the US Gulf. ATBs can transport as much as 300,000 bbl (approx. 50,000 dwt), but have onboard less than 50% of the personnel required to be onboard tankers (5 or 6 people), while a shuttle tanker of same size would require not only more personnel but all would need to be STW compliant. It is therefore the view of the Committee that the transportation of the same cargo between same final loading and discharging places should be subject to similar safety regulations irrespective of whether the ship is an ATB or a shuttle tanker.

Finally, the Committee took note that the Knudsen O.A:S. VOC system has now been approved and that a report on the full tests had been completed. The results of measurements taken during the loading of 22 different cargoes showed an average reduction in VOC emissions during loading of above the 78% bench mark that will be required in Norway by 2005.

Contact: Dragos Rauta