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BP are in the middle of a huge shipbuilding programme at a cost of some $6 billion, yet I am having difficulty in finding any information on the names, delivery dates or specs of the ships that have entered service to date. The BP Shipping website provides a ship list but it seems to be 18 months out of date. Anyone know of a dependable site?

Fred
 

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The BP shipping website is actually more or less upto date, though they have two coasters listed that have recently gone for scrap. Bear in mind though, that the fleet you see there is only the British, owned/managed fleet.
There are a few subsidiaries which are farmed out to ship managers but BP still control their movements.
I've included the latest newbuild table, taken from last months Company Rag.
There is still a lot of discussions ongoing with various shipbuilders, and so naturally there are still some ships which haven't been announced yet.
 

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fred henderson said:
BP are in the middle of a huge shipbuilding programme at a cost of some $6 billion, yet I am having difficulty in finding any information on the names, delivery dates or specs of the ships that have entered service to date. The BP Shipping website provides a ship list but it seems to be 18 months out of date. Anyone know of a dependable site?

Fred
I remember BP did that once before - they were screaming out for people who had a love affair with Kharg Island. Then, in the mid-80's they sold all the ships, had the 'Night of the Long Knives" and sacked everyone. Business is business!

John T.
 

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Ah, Kharg Island, Ras Laffan, Yanbu, Das Island, Al Basrah, Mina Al Ahmadi, Ras Tanura, the list of exotic destinations goes on.....
The reason BP are rebuilding ina big style, is that in the past couple of years, they've decided that the best way to avoid having Third World muppets onboard the ships they've chartered and causing accident is to own the ships themselves and employ their own people.
They've never had a serious pollution incident, but after incidents like the Erika and Prestige in recent years they're tightening up on the tanker side of the business. The Erika incident also showed that although the French Oil Company Elf didn't own the ship or employ the crew, they had chartered it, and so were vilified in the press and in the courts.
So BP have come to the conclusion that the easiest way to make sure their ships are in as good hands as possible is to run them themselves.
Indeed, the average ship age in the fleet is about 2 years old! Since the late 70s the fleet remained pretty bouyant at around 20 ships, this of course until all the newbuilds started arriving.
And although, techincally BP sacked everyone in 1986, it didn't happen in reality. They merely ceased to be employed by BP in London, and switched to being employed bpy BP in Bermuda, with wages paid from the Isle of Man. All terms and conditions remained the same, aside from the loss of a pension to all new joiners.
It was all one big tax fiddle.
Indeed, Shell change the name of their tanker owning arm every few years, as they get some kind of tax break for it!
 

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jim you forgot theone etched on every tankrerman,s brain ..and what gave us all "theblues ""ABADAN " .......I,m a redsea tiger a tankerman.... heading up the gulf to Abadan ....happy days!!!!!..backsplice
 

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Were they they four ships built at San Diego for the Alaskan Tanker Company? Or were their others?
 

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BP website has an impressive list of "British" ships are any of these owned by BP or are they just chartered in foreign vessels and given "british "names ?
 

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gadgee said:
Remember Bandar Mashur - perhaps you would rather not!?
Paul,
Personally, I think Umm Said was the worst of the lot. This was especially so if you had been routed there from the Continent, via the Cape at half speed. (There was a glut of oil in Europe in the early 60s so vessels were used as floating storage tanks.) It would take 40 days to get there, you anchored off shore & picked up an under water pipeline, loaded in 24 hours & then set off back for Europe taking another 40 days. BP, to their credit, eventually realised what a mind numbing experience this was & instead of bunkering in Bahrein ( a 3 hour operation) we would stop at Durban on the way out for 24 hours R&R & Capetown on the way back. The Playhouse in Durban & the Delmonico in Capetown became favourite watering holes. No cargo watches!
Kind regards,
John Firmin
 

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Where we used to go with BP

There was another oil loading terminal called Khor al Amaya. Does anyone remember that? Just an offshore platform in Iraqi teritory I think. It was in the latest Gulf War reports. We loaded there on the Beacon in Jan 67 for Durban.
 

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gadgee said:
There was another oil loading terminal called Khor al Amaya. Does anyone remember that? Just an offshore platform in Iraqi teritory I think. It was in the latest Gulf War reports. We loaded there on the Beacon in Jan 67 for Durban.
Loaded the Oloibiri on Shell Charter at Al Bakri and Khor al Amaya. Which was Kuwaiti, Iraqi or Iranian I don't know, never questioned it at the time but then I joined ship on 23 December 1976. Anchored for a week, perhaps longer, because Christmas dinner was delayed when we expected to go alongside, 'cept we didn't berth till late new years eve and didn't start loading til after midnight. Guess the price of oil changed at the end of December. So we had Coque au Vin on Christmas day and a proper Christmas dinner about the 3rd of January. Both berths were offshore terminals in the middle of not very much, just off the end of a sandbank that any normal ship could just cruise over.
Saw New Year in with whisky out of a tea mug which said Newcastle Brown Ale on the side. Not sure why, Newcastle Amber was always my preference.
 

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the last time I was up the gulf was on the "Salvina" (general cargo ) anyway we went to "Bander khomai"...as opposed to Bander shapur ....after the revolusion ..another favourite oil port was Fao up the "shat el arab " I think .....happy days hot sun .....and sand sand and more sand .....backsplice
 

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Umm Said one of my old ships from the fifties is still there I believe, although when I was on her she was fairly new one of the 28,000s cannot remember for sure its my age but it was either the Crown or Realm,as for Abadan for a gulf tanker port at least you got a break ashore with your book of rials
 

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British Crown

First trip to sea as a Nav App on British Beacon and our first loading port was Umm Said in Dec 1966. What was lying there but the wreck of British Crown. She had exploded a few months previous. A spark from an airconditioning motor whilst loading. A good education for a first tripper about what can happen on a tanker! The midships accommodation had been blown up into the air and landed some distance from the ship. Memories of topping up with ullage sticks, and sand bags blowing off. Sometimes we remembered to put those flame gauzes on the ullage pipes. Saw the 3rd Mate overcome with fumes once. We carried him to the hospital. Health and Safety???


janbonde said:
Umm Said one of my old ships from the fifties is still there I believe, although when I was on her she was fairly new one of the 28,000s cannot remember for sure its my age but it was either the Crown or Realm,as for Abadan for a gulf tanker port at least you got a break ashore with your book of rials
 

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I guess I was very fortunate, I sailed on the British Purpose and never went to the Gulf, instead we went to Brownsville Texas and returned to South Shields.According to my book it took eight weeks. She was a slow old boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ketley22 said:
BP website has an impressive list of "British" ships are any of these owned by BP or are they just chartered in foreign vessels and given "british "names ?
They are all owned by BP. With the exception of the American ships, however most of the remainder are registered in the Isle of Man.
 

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gadgee said:
First trip to sea as a Nav App on British Beacon and our first loading port was Umm Said in Dec 1966. What was lying there but the wreck of British Crown. She had exploded a few months previous. A spark from an airconditioning motor whilst loading. A good education for a first tripper about what can happen on a tanker! The midships accommodation had been blown up into the air and landed some distance from the ship. Memories of topping up with ullage sticks, and sand bags blowing off. Sometimes we remembered to put those flame gauzes on the ullage pipes. Saw the 3rd Mate overcome with fumes once. We carried him to the hospital. Health and Safety???
There are some photos of the remains of the British Crown on Graham Wallace's site: http://members.allstream.net/~wallaceg/index.html (BP Marine Engineering Apprentices).
19 crew lost their lives in the explosion. I believe that the wreck has long since gone. The faulty air conditioning unit was the one in the Officers smokeroom at the after end of the centre castle. This room was sometimes used as the office during loading & discharging as it exited straight out at flying bridge level. When loading tanks 5 & 6 across, gas could ac***ulate in this area.
As you say Paul, the gauzes were never of much use as they just got blown off by the high pressure of air exiting through the ullage plug. Sometimes, opening the sight port on the tank lid helped ease the pressure but they didn't make gauzes to cover them! Looking back, loading crude & refined products was really pretty dangerous. I have no idea what precautions are taken these days. I bet James C will be able to tell us.
Kind regards,
John Firmin
 

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British Crown explosion

Looking through The British Tankers by Norman Middlemiss. He says that the British Crown was destroyed on 20/8/66 and declared a loss on 3/11/66.




gadgee said:
First trip to sea as a Nav App on British Beacon and our first loading port was Umm Said in Dec 1966. What was lying there but the wreck of British Crown. She had exploded a few months previous. A spark from an airconditioning motor whilst loading. A good education for a first tripper about what can happen on a tanker! The midships accommodation had been blown up into the air and landed some distance from the ship. Memories of topping up with ullage sticks, and sand bags blowing off. Sometimes we remembered to put those flame gauzes on the ullage pipes. Saw the 3rd Mate overcome with fumes once. We carried him to the hospital. Health and Safety???
 

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West Of Hormuz

Hi Mates,
the Gulf certainly brings back fond memories for me although it was despised by many. Full belt through the 'Hole-in-the-Wall' on the Argosy, six weeks on the 'Bunker Run' Bandar Mashur-Kharg-Bandar Mashur in summer being served hot tea on a scorching deck by the Steward, selling blood for a few pints at the Mission in Mina, the silence broken only by the occasional gurgle and hiss of hot crude in the pipelines, terminal staff on their prayer mats, topping-off Nr. 1 with open tanktops, those wonderful sunsets and all pervading odour of black gold. And always this yearning to get a job on the tugs!
Seem to remember loading at Umm Said with what was left of the Crown as backdrop. Ran into the Master, Cpt. Tuckett, a few years later down in Grain where he was super. Wanted to know if that oil slick down the Medway was anything to do with me..Good Lord, sir, no sir...although only minutes before the pumproom bilges had been inadvertently (*)) discharged. Not a very talkative bloke but straight-up.
Has anybody been up the Gulf lately? Forty years on and ravished by greed and total ignorance would hardly give cause more to 'fond' memories.
 
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