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First BP super tanker

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  #1  
Old 9th March 2009, 12:32
Roy Fox Roy Fox is offline  
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First BP super tanker

Anyone know the date into service, the size (dwt) and name of the first super tanker with British Tanker Co? Around 1952 I would guess.
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  #2  
Old 9th March 2009, 12:48
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Depends what you class as a supertanker.
The official VLCC size is 160,000 tons to 319,999 tons.
The first tanker to break the 100,000 ton size was one of Ludwig's (Universe Apollo) in 1958 so you're looking for a later date than 1952.
Cheers
Kris
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  #3  
Old 9th March 2009, 13:01
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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I seem to remember British Admiral (about 60,000grt) being referred to as a Supetanker in the mid-60s. I thought she was built on the Tyne but I see from the gallery that she was built at Barrow. Don't know how long her reign as a supertanker lasted, not long I'd say.

John T.
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  #4  
Old 9th March 2009, 13:27
vectiscol vectiscol is offline  
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Was British Admiral the first 100,000 dwt tanker from a UK yard? Can anybody confirm?
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  #5  
Old 9th March 2009, 21:56
John_F John_F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Fox View Post
Anyone know the date into service, the size (dwt) and name of the first super tanker with British Tanker Co? Around 1952 I would guess.
Roy,
BP's first super tanker was the British Adventure which was double the size of anything existing in the fleet at that time. This was 1950 when she was launched on December 12th & completed on September 7th 1951. Her dwt was 30,218. When launched by Vickers Armstrong, Barrow, she was the largest tanker in the world although this was was soon superceded as tanker sizes increased rapidly.
The Adventure & her immediate successors over the next 10 years or so were known as super tankers, by BP personnel anyway. By the early 60s, +100,000 dwt was becoming common & these became known as VLCCs (Very large crude carriers). Please don't ask me what the cut off tonnage was between super tanker & VLCC!
The British Admiral was the first BP tanker of 100,000 dwt, completed in August 1965 by Vickers of Barrow. She had a short life, being sold for scrap in August 1976.
Kind regards,
John.
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  #6  
Old 9th March 2009, 23:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Fox View Post
Anyone know the date into service, the size (dwt) and name of the first super tanker with British Tanker Co? Around 1952 I would guess.
The question was "What was the name of the first super tanker with the British Tanker Co. ( BP)?
One of the answers talks about Ludwigs, had he got an financial interest in The British Tanker Co.(BP) in the 1950's?
Cheers Frank
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  #7  
Old 9th March 2009, 23:34
John_F John_F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank P View Post
The question was "What was the name of the first super tanker with the British Tanker Co. ( BP)?
One of the answers talks about Ludwigs, had he got an financial interest in The British Tanker Co.(BP) in the 1950's?
Cheers Frank
Frank,
As far as I am aware, BP never had anything to do with Ludwig's, although I stand to be corrected. I certainly never saw any of Ludwig's tankers appearing at any of BP's terminals in the UK.
As far as I am concerned, but quite willing to be proved wrong - & with good grace! - the British Adventure was the first BP super tanker.
Kind regards,
John.
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  #8  
Old 9th March 2009, 23:41
K urgess K urgess is offline
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The mention of the Ludwig tanker was purely to illustrate the expected date.
I sailed on a 72,000 ton tanker and it was never called a supertanker.
The only supertankers I ever experienced were VLCCs and as far as I've known up until now is that the common useage of the term applies to VLCCs and above.
For the figures I looked at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_tanker
Cheers
Kris
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  #9  
Old 9th March 2009, 23:45
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alastairjs alastairjs is offline  
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Vectiscol,
Further to John's reply above, when the British Admiral (3) was delivered to the company on the 4th August 1965 she was the largest merchant ship, in terms of deadweight tonnage, to have been delivered from any European ship yard at 111,274 DWT. She also boasted the most advanced cargo control system then afloat. Designed in Japan for one man operation, all valves were push button operated and worked in combination with a computerised cargo management system controlled by a punch card programme produced by the chief officer for each loading, discharging, cargo transfer and ballasting operation.
Regards,
Alastair
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  #10  
Old 9th March 2009, 23:48
K urgess K urgess is offline
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There appears to be a sort of definition of a supertanker here -
http://www.eoearth.org/article/Supertanker
So going by that criteria it would appear that the first BP supertanker would be the first one unable to pass through any canal fully loaded.
Cheers
Kris
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  #11  
Old 10th March 2009, 01:05
John_F John_F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marconi Sahib View Post
There appears to be a sort of definition of a supertanker here -
http://www.eoearth.org/article/Supertanker
So going by that criteria it would appear that the first BP supertanker would be the first one unable to pass through any canal fully loaded.
Cheers
Kris
Kris,
"Super" is probably a relative term. Certainly during my time with BP (1959 - 1964) any vessel over 16,000 dwt within BP's fleet was deemed a "Super Tanker", bearing in mind that BP had nothing in between 16,000dwt & 30,000 dwt. Looking back now, 30,000dwt is miniscule but in 1951 there were not many larger vessels afloat & as far as BP were concerned, at that time, they were "Super Tankers." I was certainly informed that when I joined my first vessel - British Glory (32,000 dwt) - that she was a Super Tanker. Maybe that this is just Company hyperbole but she certainly appeared Super to me as a first tripper.
Kind regards,
John.
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  #12  
Old 10th March 2009, 07:09
Roy Fox Roy Fox is offline  
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Thanks, guys, for your replies. My question obviously had a number of supplementaries such as:
How widespread was the use of the term “supertanker”?
When did it come into being?
What was the accepted definition of a supertanker?

I was leaning towards agreeing with the suggestion of a number who felt the term was in-house to BP until I decided to do a little ‘googling’. Wikipedia (not the most authoritative source, I accept) appears to use the term for all tankers above 16,000 dwt (that was about the size of a T2 I seem to recall). The summary definition given in the on-line version of Encyclopedia Britannica is “……..an oil-carrying vessel that might exceed 500,000 dwt” No mention of minimum size. However, I’m not a suscriber so I couldn’t open the fuller definition.

There is no doubt in my mind that BP was using the term supertanker during my last year with them – 1952. So the answer that best fits my requirements is that of John who quotes the British Adventure of 30,218 dwt. My last ship was the British Engineer of 10,898 dwt. That may seem miniscule today but the flying bridge seemed pretty long if you had to battle your way aft when ploughing through the Australian Bight in winter.

Incidentally, there seems to be general agreement – including the American Bureau of Shipping (referenced below) – that the term VLCC was not introduced until the 1970’s. Prior to that the terms used were:
10,000 -24,999 dwt: General Purpose tanker
25,000 - 44,999 dwt: Medium Range tanker
45,000 - 79,999 dwt Large Range 1
80,000 – 159,999 dwt Large Range 2

This classification was developed by Shell Oil in 1954 and was called the ‘Average Freight Rate Assessment (AFRA)’ system. It was adopted by all the major tanker companies.

In the 1970’s (can’t find reference to a specific date) the list was extended to:
160,000 - 319,999 dwt: Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC)
320,000 – 549,999 dwt: Ultra Large Crude Carrier (ULCC)

So what did those who sailed them call tankers up to 160,000 dwt in the late 50's and the 60's - not the above names I'll be bound.

I hope some of that is of interest.

Roy
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  #13  
Old 10th March 2009, 11:33
K urgess K urgess is offline
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I suppose the goalposts moved as the maximum tanker size grew larger.
As I said earlier I was on a 72,000 tonner in the late 60s but by then it was just a tanker. Again in the early 70s an 85,000 tonner was the same. Supertankers were 250,000 tons. When they became commonplace the ULCCs became supertankers.
It looks like something twice as big as the average was a supertanker.
An interesting debate and as usual very informative.
Personally I always had a preferred link to the smaller ones.
Cheers
Kris
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  #14  
Old 10th March 2009, 12:10
John_F John_F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank P View Post
One of the answers talks about Ludwigs, had he got an financial interest in The British Tanker Co.(BP) in the 1950's?
Cheers Frank
Frank,
Further to your question, in the 50s the Government had at least a 55% stake in BP so it is doubtful if Ludwig had any financial interest in the Company.

Kris,
Yes - an interesting discussion. As you say, the goalposts rapidly moved over the years & what was considered large in the early 50s, by the late 60s & 70s, that size was considered quite small. When I left BP in 1964 the terms VLCC & ULCC had not been invented. Anything over 16,000dwt was a Super Tanker. As Roy says, 16,000dwt was the approximate size of the US T2s, built during the war. BP also were building 16,000 tonners of their own as this seemed to be an optimum size. To suddenly double that size must have seen to be a giant leap in tanker size, probably, in BP's case anyway, giving rise to the name Super Tanker.
Kind regards,
John.
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  #15  
Old 10th March 2009, 13:31
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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For me the term Super was a "title" used on a Vessel that had been built that was "larger" than anything that had been built beforehand either by the Yard or on the Register, if another Vessel was then built which was "larger" it would take over the "title" of Super. The major change came in when the term "Very Large" began to be used.
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  #16  
Old 10th March 2009, 17:13
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Ron Stringer Ron Stringer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_F View Post
When I left BP in 1964 the terms VLCC & ULCC had not been invented. Anything over 16,000dwt was a Super Tanker.
John,

In the 1950s the Shell 'H-boats' of 18,000 dwt were considered old school since Shell were already trading with the 32,000 dwt 'V' class. In 1964 I joined a 63,000 tonner and it was only referred to as a tanker - no mention of supertanker. I think that by 1964 things had moved on and to be called a supertanker the dwt had to be in six figures at least.
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  #17  
Old 10th March 2009, 21:11
richardc richardc is offline  
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First BP supertanker.

Hi Chaps,
It would appear that BP referred to the British Adventure as their first supertanker. I hope I have attached a scan of part of an article about the BP Tanker Fleet from BP Magazine no.15 1965 : Tankers.
Regards, Richard.
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File Type: jpg BP supertanker1.JPG (25.3 KB, 169 views)
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  #18  
Old 10th March 2009, 23:28
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[QUOTE=John_F;299992]
Frank,
Further to your question, in the 50s the Government had at least a 55% stake in BP so it is doubtful if Ludwig had any financial interest in the Company.

John F, thanks for your replies,
In the 1960's/70's I sailed on three oil/chemical tankers the largest was the M/T Hallanger at 34,000 dwt the other two were around 20,000 dwt and I enjoyed my time on all three.

I think that Richard c's post says which tanker in BP's mind was their first supertanker.
Cheers Frank
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  #19  
Old 10th March 2009, 23:49
Roy Fox Roy Fox is offline  
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Richard

That seems to wrap it up for me as far as my original question is concerned.
On the broader question I agree that its all a question of superlatives. I don't know how it is back in England these days but out here, where sport is king, footballers are now heroes. The media really has to scratch around when the subject of winners of the Victoria Cross comes up!
But an interesting discussion. I've certainly learned something.
Roy
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  #20  
Old 12th March 2009, 18:11
Nigel Wing Nigel Wing is offline  
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I started work in October 1958 at Silley (Cox) & Co Ltd Falmouth, as Office Boy/Runner for the Works Office, prior to starting my apprenticeship in the Electrical Department.
The first reference to a supertanker that I heard was when the ship/manager of the vessel British Sailor referred to her as such (Built 1953 20,950 GRT) as she drydocked, outside the office window, great viewing point at the head of No.3 Dock.
Therefore I think that John F has it about right.
Cheers.
Nigel.
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  #21  
Old 15th March 2009, 07:21
vectiscol vectiscol is offline  
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That has been a really interesting discussion, gentlemen. Thank you for the information on British Admiral. I worked at Vickers later, and British Admiral and Oriana were their prides and joys.
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  #22  
Old 16th March 2009, 21:45
Superlecky Superlecky is offline  
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The first BP supertankers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Wing View Post
Therefore I think that John F has it about right.
Cheers.
Nigel.
Nigel and John F are right. When the Britsh Adventure was commissioned she was referred to as a supertanker as she was so much bigger than the 16,000 tonners. The reason for the jump in size was that up until the immediate post war period the refineries were all located close to the production areas and their output was distributed in tankers, capable of carrying several grades of oil, of 12 to 16,000 dwt.

In the late 1940's the western nations decided that due to the instability in the Middle East after the founding of Israel they would establish new refineries in their own countries and ship the crude oil to them in larger tankers. Hence the sudden jump in size to around 30,000 dwt.

Incidentally the first six BP 28,000 dwt tankers had names beginning A, B, C & R, S, T. Britsh Adventure, British Bulldog, British Crown (which caught fire and sank at Umm Said in 1966), Britsh Realm, British Skill and British Talent.

The other thing to be aware of is that the rules governing the load lines of tankers changed in the early 1970's which allowed them to load deeper and a further change took place with the move to metric tonnes instead of imperial tons in the late 1970's. The original deadweight capacity of the first BP supertankers was just over 28,000 tons and not the later larger tonnages given in quite a few reference books.
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  #23  
Old 17th March 2009, 09:49
John_F John_F is offline
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Superlecky & Nigel,
Thanks for the confirmation. I've attached a short extract from a book called "Looking Back at Classic Tankers." This also seems to confirm - independently - that these first vessels from BP in the 30,000dwt class were known as Super-tankers.
Kind regards,
John.
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File Type: jpg Super-tanker.jpg (86.5 KB, 127 views)

Last edited by John_F; 17th March 2009 at 09:52..
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  #24  
Old 17th March 2009, 17:00
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I served on board 2 of the 28,000 in the early fifties and they were certainly known as Super-Tankers and addressed as such by those that sailed in them,the vessels I sailed on were the Crown and Realm quite a step up from the 12,000 and 16,000 or T2 class.They were single-berth cabins for all the crew the only exception as far as I remember were the boy ratings, as usual for BTC in those days feeding standards left a lot to be desired.There were exceptions in the fleet with regard to the messing but not too many
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  #25  
Old 17th March 2009, 18:03
Hamish Mackintosh Hamish Mackintosh is offline  
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Was not the "Bulldog" and that class, the largest tankers able to transit the Suez canal?
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