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Director’s log

With a five week handover completed, which included time at the IMO, the EU, the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre (MTISC), Witherby’s and plenty of time in the OCIMF offices, I took over at the helm of OCIMF at the 75th Executive Committee (Excom) held in Singapore on the 10th June.

David Cotterell conducted a structured and effective handover of OCIMF which has provided me with a good understanding of the current activities and issues facing OCIMF today. Taking over at Excom is ideal. The six monthly meeting provides the opportunity for the Excom, which is currently made up of 12 Directors drawn from the membership, to exercise their statutory duties of care to the membership by reviewing and approving the work activities of the OCIMF committees, sub-committees and focus groups. At this Excom there was a need to appoint new Vice Chairmen to support the Chairman, Grahaeme Henderson (Shell), and Mark Ross (Chevron), Jack Buono (Exxon) and John Dabbar (ConocoPhillips) were duly appointed.

My first real duty, and great pleasure, as Director was to open the Asia Pacific Regional Panel. I was very pleased to see the large number of attendees present and the quality of the two main presentations, one from the Regional Champion, Clive Blackmore (Shell) and the second from Foong, Yee Kuan (PSA Marine Academy). In the afternoon the group split into the three work streams all of whom discussed and progressed the regional issues that currently concern them which will inform the main committees when they meet in September.

Maritime Security has been a major theme throughout my handover. I reviewed first-hand the significant progress made with the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre (MTISC). It has established a position of trust with merchant shipping and is monitoring the locations of 500 plus merchant ships each day. MTISC has also had assisted in a number of security incidents as well as supporting regional maritime security exercises.

In the Indian Ocean the main topic of conversation is the renewal of the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) mandate in 2016. It is widely recognised that the combination of the presence of naval forces, arm guards on ships and the self-defence provided by vessels adhering to the Best Management Practices has been extremely effective in discouraging piracy to the extent that it has been three years since the last successful piracy attack. OCIMF have been lobbying in the EU to support the renewal of the EU NAVFOR mandate and their continued presence in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. During my handover I visited the Maritime Trade Office in Dubai where OCIMF continue to provide a Merchant Navy Liaison Officer to assist with the dissemination of maritime security information to the world’s merchant fleet transiting the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and Arabian Gulf.

As David mentioned in April’s newsletter, this year has seen considerable change of, particularly, seconded staff. Jeremy Hudson (Shell) has now settled in as my Deputy and Chief Representative to IMO, Joe Megeed (ConocoPhillips) is now flying solo as our Technical Adviser following handover from Chris Brown (Chevron), and, of course, David and I have changed out. Finally for this year we are seeking a replacement Nautical Advisor for Ian Shields who will leave us, probably in the third quarter this year.

One thing that has become apparent to me in the last six weeks is the strength of the OCIMF team. I am really looking forward to working with you, the member’s committee, sub-committee and focus group representatives who have, for 45 years, made OCIMF what it is today (trusted, respected and a centre of expertise on tanker safety, security and environmental issues) and the great team here at the Secretariat.


director sign

Andrew Cassels

Director OCIMF

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Asia Pacific Regional Panel

OCIMF hosted the third Asia Pacific Regional Panel meeting in Singapore on 11 June.

There was a strong turnout for the morning plenary session with 50 members’ representatives attending.

OCIMF Director, Andrew Cassels (BP), opened the morning session with a brief introduction and his thoughts on the future of OCIMF. Each of the Asia Pacific Regional work stream Chairmen gave an overview of the topics that were discussed during previous work stream meetings. Regional Champion Clive Blackmore (Shell) presented some of the significant issues faced in the region and reminded the members to continue to stay engaged with making improvements to the industry.

Guest speaker was Captain Foong Yee Kuan from PSA Marine Academy. Captain Yee Kuan gave a presentation on PSAM and how they are enhancing safety of life at sea within the Port of Singapore.

One of the positive outcome from the afternoon session was the commitment by the Terminal and Offshore work streams to hold monthly intercessional conference calls.

The next Asia Pacific Regional Panel meeting will be held in Singapore on 29 October 2015. Any questions or comments can be directed to:

MSC 95

The 95th session of the Marine Safety Committee was held at the IMO headquarters in London from 3rd to 12th June 2015.

The agenda was mainly dedicated to three items:

  • Adoption of the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code).
  • Amendments to Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
  • Mixed migration by sea. (Mixed migration consists of flows of people who are on the move for different reasons and from different base countries but who share the same routes, modes of travel and vessels. E.g. there is a large migration across the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy ~ Malta but the people are from many sources such as sub-saharan Africa, Syria, etc).

The main items of interest for OCIMF Members were:

  • The adoption of the IGF code is an important milestone. An important principle was established of one ship one code i.e. prevention of potential of IGF and IGC codes applying to a single asset with differing requirements.
  • The drafting of the Amendment to SOLAS for double venting on cargo tanks. This was drafted without any alteration or modification from intent.
  • The consideration of OCIMF works on the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre – Gulf of Guinea as supported by IMO Secretariat, in particular the provision of long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) data, this was blocked by the West African states, led by Ghana, who wanted more control/influence.
  • The discussions of revision of High Risk Areas (HRAs) resulted in deferral to the industry work group to review and recommend any changes.
  • The Definition and treatment of ‘industrial personnel’. This started off as a particular issue to personnel working on offshore windfarms but has the potential to open up a real can of worms and affect personnel working in the offshore oil industry / riding gangs / cleaners etc.
  • The consideration of mandatory regulations for design / fabrication and maintenance guidance for lifting appliances. This is moving in the right direction but a long way to go until this is fully landed.
  • The start of work regarding a desired step-change in mooring design – introduced as a subject by a group of European countries and an information paper by Denmark but needs significant thought / input to achieve a worthwhile output.
  • The discussion on Tier 2 (Annual) maintenance of Lifeboat launching and release gear – should be the manufacturer or a service provider authorized by the administration. Passed to SSE 3 to propose appropriate amendments.
  • Goal based Ship construction standards. There is a long way to run on this subject and not much appetite to make it high priority.

Photo with thanks to IMO.UN

Marine Loading Arms work group begins

The Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC) has given the go-ahead for the update of the Design and Construction Specification for Marine Loading Arms (third edition) which was last updated in 1999.

The book will be updated and the work group will be adding content on a number of topics including:

  • Small scale Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals.
  • Ship to ship transfer on large Floating LNG facilities.
  • Bunkering vessels or terminals including developments in LNG bunkering guidelines.
  • HP gas transfer on FSRU’s and jetties.

OCIMF solicited makers of the loading arms and components to ensure the correct participants with updated knowledge on the loading arms were included. The first meeting started 27 May hosted by Shell in Rijswijk, Netherlands and the second meeting is scheduled to take place 1 July in Rijswijk. The work group includes participants from the following member companies and organisations: Shell (Chair), ExxonMobil, MIB Italiana SPA, Emco Wheaton, Woodfield, FMC Technologies, Kanon Loading Equipment, Niigata, SVT and SIGTTO.

The work group has progressed well so far and is motivated to update our publication and provide updated information to our membership. As one attendee noted, the work group is an “all-star cast of the players within the industry of marine loading arms”. The work group expects to provide an update to PTC later this year with progress.

Ship to ship best practices

Raj Shetty addressing the ship to ship (STS) focus group at the 5th Forum on STS Best Practices.

The forum was hosted by Singapore Nautical Institute and included attendees from STS service providers, pilots, and OCIMF Members representatives.