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Director's Log

With 2013 nearing its end we're happy to note good progress or delivery of many large work items. The Ship to Ship Transfer Guide for Petroleum, Chemicals and Liquified Gasses was published this month, combining and updating existing references on the subject into a single volume. It is a landmark publication in bringing together OCIMF, SIGTTO, ICS and CDI to co-author best practice that has been awaited by a large section of industry.

Combining publications is one example of simplifying and standardising guidance to seafarers, something OCIMF strongly supports and will continue to employ in future publications, removing complexity whenever practical. Removing complexity is a common theme in the newsletter this month with OCIMF contributing to Tanker Manifold Standards, the ISO led work on hull and propeller performance improvement and in the Offshore sector the cross industry Dynamic Positioning Training Executive Group.

Removing complexity and duplication through standardisation was also the theme when OCIMF presented at the Human Element Advisory Group, co-ordinated by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency. One of the aims of the group is to promote safer maritime activity through the application of human element principles and best practice to the design, construction and maintenance of ships and their systems, an aim closely aligned to the OCIMF mission and an initiative we are pleased to support.

OCIMF has been working with supporting governments, Gulf of Guinea coastal states and regional organisations to establish a Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre in Ghana (MTISC-GoG). Good progress has been made this month with the lease for the building that will house the centre being negotiated, staff accommodation identified and key staff appointments being made. The information fusion system at the core of the centre operations is scheduled to be delivered and installed to enable the centre to become operational early in the New Year, initially for a 12 month pilot. MTISC-GoG places the safety of seafarers on ships operating in the region as its prime objective. The centre will provide advice and guidance on the maritime security situation, describe normal patterns of life on the waters of the Gulf of Guinea and risk mitigation.

If you would like to comment on anything included here in this month's edition of the newsletter we would be delighted to hear from you, just email

Members' News

The November newsletter is the ninth edition of this initiative introduced in response to a strong call from members to learn more about what OCIMF and individual members are contributing to raising safety and environmental standards in our industry.

Our members do some great things, so if you have a good news story please consider sharing it by providing an article, the forum is here for sharing and our newsletter is a perfect vehicle to reach out to the membership.

Email to see your story or picture in the December edition.

OCIMF in Hanoi - Asia Pacific Terminal Forum and the China Focus Group

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OCIMF were in Hanoi for the 19th China Focus Group and the 23rd Asia Pacific Terminal Forums (APTF). Petrovietnam arranged the splendid venues of the Press Club for the China Focus Group, and the La Paix meeting room at the Hanoi Daewoo Hotel.

It as the final APTF as the Asia Pacific Regional Panel holds its first meeting in Singapore in March. The Regional Panel was discussed in detail, with focus on set-up of future meetings, in particular how ideas from the terminal work stream would be developed into either regional or global action, and the process for this was explained and a few ideas for March were explored. As this was the final meeting of the APTF the occasion was marked with each member receiving a glass engraved paperweight thanking them for their support of APTF over the years.

Many APTF members were also part of the China Focus Group, and in the past the Focus Group had met at the same locations as Asia Pacific. With the commencement of the Regional Panels, and with a desire to further engage with Chinese interests, it was decided that future China Focus Groups should be held within China, and be supplemented with workshops so as to further the engagement process.

Both groups now look forward to future meetings in Singapore and China respectively.

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It was not all work and as the picture shows, some members of both groups accepted the offer of Petrovietnam to go on a guided tour, following the completion of the meetings. As can be seen the occasion was colourful, if somewhat damp.

Proposed changes to the Nautical Institute training scheme


The Dynamic Positioning Training Executive Group (DPTEG) met at the OCIMF offices in London on the 14-15 November to discuss, and review, proposed changes to the Nautical Institute training scheme. The DPTEG group includes OCIMF, Nautical Institute, IADC, IMCA, ISOA, ICS, Training Schools (RTP) and IDPOA.

The DPTEG group provides input from industry regarding DP issues; it also makes recommendations for improvements and or changes to the current DP training scheme.

The meeting took place over two days, and many issues such as the Limited certificate, sea time requirements, Shuttle Tanker proposals were discussed and agreed by the membership. The meeting was well attended, and we were able to achieve many of the objectives set forth in the agenda. The formal minutes are currently being written, and will be forwarded to those OCIMF members who request them.

The ship to ship focus group

The ship to ship (STS) focus group had its first meeting in Singapore on the 19 November. The group reviewed STS related matters including weather parameters for STS operations, hose retirement policy, double banking and simultaneous operations. The following day, members participated in a forum jointly organised by the Singapore Nautical Institute and Nautical Institute on STS best practices in the ASEAN area.

Fuel quality and safety

On 30 October OCIMF attended the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Construction and Equipment Sub-Committee meeting to discuss topics relating to fuel quality and safety. In addition to ICS representatives International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), INTERCARAGO, and INTERTANKO attended to discuss verification of bunker quantity and quality, the possible impact of tighter sulphur requirements on levels of catalytic fines, and recent initiatives in specific ports. ICS issued a circular to its members after an informative discussion.

The Recommendations for Oil Tanker Manifolds and Associated Equipment work group

The Recommendations for Oil Tanker Manifolds and Associated Equipment work group met again in London on the 6 November. The group continued to revise the existing document. OCIMF's Marine Technical Subcommittee (MTSC) is now offering assistance with some technical input for several sections of the document including lighting requirements and lifting equipment. Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Total have been very active participants in providing this technical guidance.

A report from the General Purposes Committee

General Purposes Committee (GPC) 77 marked the transition from the long established meeting arrangements which have served OCIMF well for many years and heralded the change to a new format aimed at adding efficiency. The last GPC to be member hosted and the first in the new regional hub rotation was generously hosted by Vela in Dubai and was also memorable as the platform on which the new regional panels were launched. We would like to thank Vela and GPC member Talal Bakheet for the excellent arrangements which facilitated a very well attended and productive meeting.

Twenty one member companies participated in the meeting. It was pleasing to note the progress made in a number of task forces, in particular the completion of the memorandum of understanding with CCS enabling mandarin translation of OCIMF publications critical to influencing tanker and terminal operations in China, the completion of drafting The Barge Operations Guide USA which now moves on towards publication along with the Ship to Ship Transfer Guide and Shipping Operations in the Arctic.

GPC added to the prioritised actions forming groups to perform a gap analysis on TMSA 2 to enable the need for a new edition to be determined, to produce a new SIRE inspection variant for Barges operated in Europe and to assess the feasibility of collecting and analysing marine incident data for the benefit of the membership. Data was presented illustrating that fire and explosions continue to occur on tankers with tragic results and that although regulation had been agreed reducing the tonnage limit on which the provision of inert gas was compulsory there remained a gap in operating practice. GPC acknowledged the urgent need to raise awareness and provide best practice guidance, forming a task force to address the issue.

An on-going and complex issue that the GPC have been addressing has been to provide a practical standard for inspector fitness to work that can be applied internationally. GPC would like to thank ECOC for making available Dr Mark Newson Smith whose thoughtful consideration of the issues hampering progress and presentation of practical options to address them was extremely useful and greatly appreciated.

The meeting closed having agreed 22 actions to be delivered or progressed by the 78th meeting scheduled to take place in the regional hub of Singapore on 18-19 March 2014.

Ship hardening work group

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The Ship Hardening Work Group held their second meeting at OCIMF on the 14 November. A TMSA security module was among the topics discussed.

Measurement of changes in hull and propeller performance

OCIMF attended the International Standards Organization (ISO) work group for Measurement of Changes in Hull and Propeller Performance. The meeting was held in Tokyo on the 13-15 November, and was hosted by the Japan Ship Technology Research Association.

The work group has made considerable progress on developing a draft standard that is scheduled to be published in 2016. The aim of this International Standard is to make available commonly accepted methods for measuring changes in ship specific hull and propeller performance, to the industry for use on a voluntary basis. The standard is not intended to be used in a regulatory framework - it has been developed with involvement of the industry to meet its' specific needs. The standard is expected to contribute towards an improvement in world fleet energy efficiency and a reduction in carbon emissions.

At the conclusion of the meeting OCIMF's Technical Adviser (Engineering) Chris Brown, was confirmed as the co-project lead for development of the standard.

STS Transfer Guide now available

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The much anticipated Ship to Ship Transfer Guide for Petroleum, Chemicals and Liquefied Gases was published on the 22 November. The guide is a joint publication between OCIMF, the Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO).

The original Ship to Ship Transfer Guide, published in 1975, was OCIMF's first publication. This new edition supersedes the Ship to Ship Transfer Guide (Petroleum) (fourth edition, 2005), the Ship to Ship Transfer Guide (Liquefied Gases) (second edition, 1995), and the LNG Ship to Ship Transfer Guidelines (2011).

The purpose of the book is to provide guidance to Masters and operators of vessels undertaking side-by side ship to ship transfer operations of crude oil, petroleum products, chemicals and liquefied gases, both at sea and in port.

The structure of this Guide has been developed such that all general references to STS operations that are applicable irrespective of the cargo being transferred are included in the main section of the document. Recommendations that relate to a particular cargo are included in separate appendices for crude oil and petroleum products, chemicals, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The guide is available now, you can order your copy here:

Reports from the IMO

OCIMF Representative's Report on the 59th session of the NAV (Safety of Navigation) Sub-Committee held at IMO Headquarters in London from the 2-6 September 2013 is now available.

OCIMF Representative's Report on the 18th session of the DSC Sub-Committee held at IMO Headquarters in London from the 16-20 September 2013 is also available.

Both reports can be downloaded here.