Tramp Oil Guide to
Good Bunkering Practice
PRODUCT TRANSFER PROCEDURE
Name of vessel: Place of Supply: Date:
Before any transfer of product is undertaken, the barge master or other person in charge of delivery, will review the
following items with the receiving vessel's Chief Engineer. Each will sign both copies of this form to acknowledge that
all matters listed below are fully understood.
Oncoming personnel will also check and review the listed matters at change of watch and sign in acknowledgement.
1. Pumping Data:
a. Type of stock to be transferred
c. Initial transfer rate
d. Maximum transfer rate
e. Maximum transfer pressure
f. Anticipated stoppages
2. The method of communication between barge or terminal and vessel will be:
Checked by Checked by Comment
3. An English Speaking member of the crew will be on Yes/No Yes/No
duty at all times.
4. It is understood that, except in an emergency, a 15 Yes/No Yes/No
minute standby for shutting down of transfer is required.
5. Are hoses in good condition? Yes/No Yes/No
6. Are connections between barge and vessel/terminal Yes/No Yes/No
properly bolted and secured?
7. Are scupper plugs in place? Yes/No Yes/No
8. Are sea suctions and overboard discharge valves Yes/No Yes/No
closed and sealed?
9. A continuous deck watch will be kept by barge or Yes/No Yes/No
terminal and vessel/crews.
10. All unused manifold connections are blanked off. Yes/No Yes/No
11. Both parties will maintain constant surveillance of Yes/No Yes/No
adjacent waters to detect any leakage/spillage of oil.
12. It is understood that the ship will not shut down against Yes/No Yes/No
the flow of oil.
13. In the event of an oil spill the following steps will be taken (containment, clean up, reports, etc)
For Supplier For Vessel
Signed Time Signed Time
Shift Change Time Shift Change Time
Shift Change Time Shift Change Time
VALUE FOR MONEY
The quality and composition of marine This leaflet is designed to help owners
fuels vary from port to port worldwide. and operators achieve the goal of good
This poses real problems for vessels ships' housekeeping and to suggest
engaged in international trade. steps that should be taken when
This quality question is NOT just a loading bunkers.
problem for suppliers, it is yet another
area where a further burden of If the golden rules of good bunker
responsibility falls on the owner or purchasing and best practice on-board
operator, a responsibility which is, in are followed, areas of contention
fact, just as great as that of the between owner and supplier must
supplier. inevitably decrease.
GOLDEN RULE 1
Before accepting bunkers, the Chief
Engineer should always check the
supplier's documents to ensure that
the product to be supplied is, in terms
of quantity, grade and specification,
what has been ordered. In addition he
should insist on witnessing the taking
and sealing of representative samples,
of which he will retain one per grade.
GOLDEN RULE 2
The Chief Engineer or his
representative must always check that
bunkers to be stemmed do not contain
unacceptable amounts of water.
International specifications permit a
trace in Gas Oil, 0.3% in Diesel Oils
and 0.5% to 1.0% in blended fuels.
Water finding paste, smeared on the
dipstick, changes colour in the
presence of water and is easily read for
distillate fuels. The water depth can
then be read off and its volume and
weight calculated from the barge or
storage tank calibration tables. Water
paste is less accurate in blended fuels
and a sample tested in a water test kit
is more reliable.
GOLDEN RULE 3
In addition to checking the security (oil
tightness) of the hose coupling, it is
most important to agree delivery
details. Pumping rate, pumping pres-
sure and stop/start signals between
barge and vessel are critical to prevent
spillage and possible pollution.
Excess pressure can cause hoses to
burst leading to immediate pollution of
the surrounding water. This is highly
likely to result in expensive clean-up
costs, fines and arrest.
HOW TO ENSURE THE CORRECT
QUANTITY IS DELIVERED
Short delivery claims are the cause of
many disputes between owners or
operators and bunker suppliers. In the
majority of cases these can be avoided
by ship's staff actively ensuring that
they actually receive the quantity that
has been ordered.
The Chief Engineer or his
representative must always check the
supplier's barge, shore tanks, trucks or
meters, before and after pumping.
All tanks should be checked by using
steel dips and tank calibration tables,
both before and after pumping, to
ensure that the correct quantity has
Should be checked by gauge readings ship's staff, to be the basis of invoiced
or, if gauges do not exist, by dipping. quantity. In many countries these
measurements are checked and
certified by customs authorities. The
METERS: reason for this rigid adherence to
suppliers' figures is that suppliers'
Should be read both before and after
barges and trucks are in regular use
and have established, known
Suppliers' terms worldwide provide for performance factors whilst ships may
their measurements, witnessed by have tanks of uncertain cross section,
void spaces and long pipe runs, as
acknowledged by international survey
All measurements record volume (not
weight) and these volumes are
converted into tonnes using density
and temperature correction factors.
REPRESENTATIVE SEALED SAMPLES Sample bottles should be sealed, dated
MUST BE TAKEN…. and signed by both the Chief Engineer
A responsible member of the receiving and on behalf of the local supplier.
vessel's staff must witness the sampling At least two identical samples should
process and the sealing of the samples be taken. One should be retained by
in suitable containers with proper the ship's staff, for a minimum of three
sealing arrangements. months and at least until the bunkers
The sample must be representative of loaded have been burnt without
the total delivery and, ideally, taken by problem. If a quality problem does
drip feed at the discharge side of the then arise, the sealed sample, retained
barge manifold during the course of by the Chief Engineer, is readily avail-
the pumping process. able for independent analysis.
Sample bottles should not be filled at The second sealed sample should be
either the start or the finish of retained by the local bunker supplier.
pumping because they would then not A quantity of the new bunkers can be
be representative of the total tonnage used soon after sailing in order to
loaded; similarly they should not be ensure that they are of good quality. If
filled from just one tank on the barge. a genuine problem arises, the supplier
can be notified promptly; late advice
can lead to a supplier declining liability.
(Notification periods are clearly stated
in suppliers' terms and conditions).
USE TEST KITS FOR CHECKING
The only way bunker quality can really
be checked on board is for the vessel
to have her own fuel oil test kit and,
just as important, be manned by
personnel trained to use it.
By carrying out a few simple tests on
samples from the bunker barge or
shore tank, the Chief Engineer can
satisfy himself that the product is to
specification and compatible with
THE PROBLEM OF FUEL results of the test are to hand and the
COMPATIBILITY bunkers are cleared for mixing and
Compatibility is one of the most burning.
serious problems facing owners and
operators today. It is capable of
causing severe damage to a ship's SERVICEABILITY
main engine or auxiliary machinery but
can be easily avoided by the simple MAKE SURE FUEL HANDLING
expedients of (a) carrying out a EQUIPMENT IS SERVICEABLE
compatibility test and, (b) best of all,
segregating the bunkers in Many claims that start off as alleged
separate tanks. Checking for com- quality claims frequently turn out to be
patibility with existing fuel on board nothing of the sort when investigated
can only be undertaken by ship's staff. by independent marine consultants.
Suppliers will not accept responsibility Often, the problem is proved to be one
for incompatibility, a matter outside of of inadequate or unserviceable fuel
their control. handling equipment.
Owners and operators should ensure
IF IN DOUBT, ALWAYS CHECK that all fuel handling equipment is
serviceable at all times and that
Bunkers are products from refineries of periodic checks are made to ensure
simple or complex nature, using crudes that it remains so.
sourced world wide.
While the delivered product may
conform to the relevant specification in PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
every way, when mixed in the tank This guide is no more than a brief
with product refined from a different outline of best practice in purchasing
crude, incompatibility can occur. and receiving bunkers but if the
Incompatible products will layer and guidelines are followed, many of the
can form an unpumpable sludge. They disputes that currently occur between
can also cause poor main engine the owner or operator and suppliers,
combustion. In extreme cases the and indeed between owners and
product can become completely charterers, will be avoided.
unpumpable and unburnable. REMEMBER. Always insist on
Ideally a sample of each new delivery witnessing the taking of sealed
of fuel should be sent to one of the representative samples of each
various bunker testing laboratories grade delivered and retaining a
around the world for example Lloyd's sample on board.
Register of Shipping's Fuel Oil Bunker
Analysis and Advisory Service (FOBAS) The basic message?
or Den Norske Veritas, for analysis
before the bunkers are burnt. PREVENTION
This entails holding bunkers in the tank Is better than cure.
on board for five or six days before the
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