Inspection of cargo tanks for potential oil cargo discrepancy

Oil Tankers Ships

Inspection of  cargo tanks for potential oil cargo discrepancy

We as Independent Marine Consultants received a nomination from one of our overseas Principals in order to assess the potential cargo contamination (First foot sample of the cargo loaded being off spec) of petroleum cargo.

Inspection of  cargo tanks -background

Our registered marine surveyor (tanker expert) boarded the vessel & met the Master & Chief Officer and explained the purpose of our visit, the master handed requested documents over to our surveyor for his perusal.

Our registered marine surveyor was made to understand from his conversations with the Master & the documentations provided that the subject vessel had commenced loading cargo oil products the night before. In the morning on the next day when all cargo tanks contained approximately one foot (sounding) of cargo (oil products), the shipper’s surveyor collected First foot samples of the petroleum product & sent it to a shore laboratory for analysis. At some time in the afternoon on the same day cargo loading was suspended as the shippers surveyor stated that the laboratory analysis indicated that the cargo was off spec.

Master requested his owners to inform their P&I club & send onboard an oil tanker expert/surveyor to investigate the claims from the shippers.

Inspection of  cargo tanks -Details of our On board Survey:

Our oil cargo expert/surveyor called the shippers surveyor to provide us with an oil cargo analysis & advice on what basis was the cargo off spec. As per the shippers surveyor cargo was off spec due to the high content of water in the sample.

Our registered marine surveyor then took cargo samples from all tanks. The oil sample bottles were sealed by our oil tanker expert in the presence of the Chief Officer of the vessel. One set of samples were provided to the vessel.

Inspection of cargo tanks-Remarks by our surveyor:

We then pursued through the documents provided by the Master & noted the following.

  1. The shipper’s surveyor did not provide a set of the first foot samples to the vessel, upon drawing the same from the cargo tanks onboard.
  2. The shipper’s surveyor did not seal the sample bottles nor provide a receipt to the Master for the samples drawn.
  3. No laboratory analysis for the first foot sample was provided by the shipper’s surveyor.
  4. The tanks had been inspected by the same shipper’s surveyor prior loading & he issued a certificate stating that the tanks were fit to load cargo.
  5. No Drip samples were collected by the shipper’s surveyor nor by master under his own initiative to safeguarding his interest.
  6. Master provided us with the Slop Collection certificate which showed that the quantity landed after hold cleaning was same amount as what the shipper’s surveyor stated was in the cargo tanks.
  7. There were no Letter of protests issued by the shipper nor their surveyor.
  8. The Master of the vessel to issue a Letter of protest indicating that there will be no delays put on the account of the owners.

Based on the above we requested the shipper to continue loading the oil cargo as there was no evidence to state otherwise that the cargo was off spec.

Cargo loading commenced & completed with no delays on the owners account.

Final samples were drawn & tested against the allowable tolerances of the cargo specifications & were found to be appropriate and vessel sailed out to her port of discharge.

Constellation Marine’s registered marine surveyors were commended on their good work & intervention to defuse the situation amicably & more importantly expedite cargo operations for which our teams diplomatic & strict professionalism stood out & was appreciated.