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Director’s log

In the last four weeks I have attended General Purposes Committee (GPC 81), Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC 83) and Offshore Marine Committee (OMC 11) - all with their associated Regional Panel meetings.

Each committee had a busy session reviewing progress since the last meeting with the intercessional work completed allowing the main committees to make some important decisions. All subcommittees work hard, but I would like particularly to highlight the solid work produced by the Marine Technical Sub Committee (MTSC) in the last six months. This group support all three main committees and report to the GPC. The few areas where progress is slow or where there needs to be good cross committee communication were discussed at the inaugural ‘4 Chairs’ meeting. This is a meeting of the main committee Chairmen and Secretariat which is a further effort to enhance and streamline decision making on cross-committee issues.

The Regional Panel meetings have now been running for a full two years. As you would expect, there are areas of success and areas where there have been more challenges, particularly around attendance. With members help, I will complete a post project review in 2016 to see what changes (if any) are required to improve the programme going forward. That said, I have been universally impressed by the effort that the Regional Champions have made to support the success of the Regional Panel strategy. They have been one of the critical success factors. Thank you to Clive Blackmore (APRP), Waddah Ghanem (MEARP), Andy Dogherty (ERP) and Luciano Maldonado (ARP).

Later in the month I attended the China Oil Transportation Safety Forum (COTSF) where I gave a presentation on the key changes to OCIMF recommended best practices resulting from forthcoming revisions to OCIMF publications and information papers (see the COTSF article below). After the COTSF I attended the China Focus Group. The morning session engaged with members and non-members where ‘self-help’ was the theme with presentations and Q&A. The afternoon addressed the strategic issue of China shipping standards. In summary, there is wide recognition and growing take-up of the best practices provided in OCIMF publications, but there is much more to do. The inaugural Chinese translation of ‘Effective Mooring’ was clearly well received; thanks to the China Classification Society (CCS) for assisting with the translation. Consideration is now being given to the next publication to be translated into Chinese.

Two OCIMF papers were released recently. In September we released ‘The Hazards of Snap-back – Initial Learnings from a serious incident of mooring line failure’ (which the PTC completed in 2 months) and in October ‘A Study into Crane Loads Associated with Hose Handling at Offshore Terminals’ (MTSC).

Stay Safe

Andrew Cassels

Director OCIMF


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OCIMF European Regional Panels

The fourth European Regional Panel (ERP) meeting took place on 15 October 2015 in London.

OCIMF director Andrew Cassels welcomed 67 attendees and was joined on the panel by ERP regional champion Andrew Dogherty (BG Group), the Port and Terminals Committee (PTC) chairman Bill Crabbs (P66), the Deputy Chief Inspector of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) Andrew Moll and OCIMF’s Deputy Director and Chief Representative to the International Maritime Organisation Jeremy Hudson. The meeting followed the PTC and we were happy to have a number of PTC members in attendance.

The meeting began with Bill Crabbs giving members an update on the PTC meeting, highlighting the upcoming release of the Single Point Mooring Maintenance and Operations Guide and the process that has begun to look at updating OCIMF’s Mooring Guidelines (part of the ongoing response to snap-back incident detailed in the Hazards of Snap-back information paper).

The theme for the panel session was “Complacency”. Andrew Dogherty closed the “seven C’s” theme which has run through the ERP’s first four meetings, speaking about the dangers of complacency and how the industry can make the safety aspect more interesting and how to avoid it becoming a routine. A theme that was continued by Capt. Andrew Moll in his presentation which gave the Investigators perspective on complacency. The moderator, Raj Shetty - Senior Technical Adviser OCIMF, then opened the floor for a very engaging and interactive discussion that followed and judging by the questions raised it was obvious that the audience could relate complacency to everyday work.

A short video on Chronic Unease and Complacency was also shown during the discussions.

Topics covered during the general Q&A session included a wide ranging discussion on the Human Element, as well as touching on technology, enclosed spaces, SIRE and European Barge Inspection System (EBIS) system.

The theme for the next European Regional Panel was discussed and agreed as “Mooring Safety”. The next European Regional Panel will be held in London on the 15 June 2016.


OCIMF attendance at 2015 Tripartite meeting

The annual International meeting of shipping industry associations, Far East Shipbuilders and Classification Societies met in Seoul, Korea on the 16-17 October, known as the Tripartite meeting.

The purpose of the meeting is to:

  • Review current and evolving issues of common concern.
  • Share information and best practices.
  • Promote safety, quality, and protection of the environment across the maritime industries.

This year around 100 individuals representing the Tripartite groups attended. A variety of topics were presented by subject matter experts which ranged from emerging technologies, vessel efficiencies, along with machinery and installations developments.

Joe Megeed, OCIMF Technical Advisor (Engineering) gave two presentations. The first presentation was information sharing of the initial learnings from a serious mooring incident contained in the OCIMF Information paper “The Hazards of Snap-Back”

The second presentation was on the subject of Personnel Transfer by Crane (usually during STS and bunkering operations). This OCIMF presentation suggested that Shipyards and Vessel Owners would benefit from Classification Societies considering the development of a Unified Requirement (UT) for the classification of Man-Riding cranes on oil and chemical tankers, and gas carriers. OCIMF will be publishing an information paper on best practices for personnel transfer by crane next year, provisionally entitled Personnel Transfer by Crane.

The Tripartite meeting displayed the cooperation between Ship Owners, Shipbuilders and Classification Societies in improving the safety, efficiency and pollution performance of our industry.


General Purposes Committee

The General Purposes Committee (GPC) 81 was held in Dubai on the 29–30 September.

25 people attended representing: Koch, International Marine Transportation Ltd, Phillips66, Chevron, Petrobras, Eni SpA, BG Group, Nigeria LNG, Excelerate Energy L.P., Shell, Neste Oil Corporation, BP, TOTAL, Maersk, GDF Suez, Emirates National Oil Company and Petroleum Industry Marine Association of Japan (PIMA).

A wide range of topics were discussed over one and a half days including updates from secretariat on IMO and security matters plus updates and requests for decisions from sub-committees and workgroups such as personnel transport by crane, cargo blending at sea, Barge focus group, SIRE etc.

The next meeting will be held in Singapore on 8-9 March 2016.


PTC 83 Meeting

PTC 83 committee meeting took place in London the 12-14 October with 25 attendees represented by Exxon Mobil, Eni, Total, Chevron, Petrobras, Shell, Valero, Excelerate Energy LP, Nigeria LNG, Vopak, Hess Corporation, SIGTTO, NuStar, ENAP, Shell, IMT, INEOS, BG Group, ENOC, BP and Phillips 66.

The meeting took stock of intercessional work carried out since the last meeting and of noteworthy mention is the work carried out in light of a serious mooring incident brought to the attention of the committee in July. Recognising the seriousness of the incident and the potential risk of similar repeat incidents, the committee was quick to respond by immediately pulling together a task force of PTC members to identify issues arising from the incident and make recommendations to PTC 83 on the best way forward. The group identified a number of areas of concern with respect to current industry guidance and made the following recommendations:

  1. Issue an information paper on the hazards of snapback.
  2. Support ongoing IMO work on revision of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Regulation II-1/3-8 and new guidelines for safe mooring of ships’
  3. Gain better understanding of fatigue characteristics of HMSF ropes and issues that may affect their performance
  4. Review and revise the 3rd edition of the Mooring Equipment Guidelines with focus on occupational health and the human element.

As an initial step towards the review and update of MEG 3, PTC members participated in a mooring HAZID workshop facilitated by a leading classification society. The study, which was conducted in accordance with ISO risk methodology identified hazards associated with mooring operations, assessed the likelihood/consequence of the risk and reviewed existing safeguards in order to make recommendations where necessary.

58 potentially hazardous scenarios were assessed during the workshop, and the output from the exercise included 40 recommendations for follow-up activity. The output from the exercise will also assist towards preparing an OCIMF submission at the next IMO Ship Design and Construction (SDC) subcommittee meeting

PTC committee members reviewed and deliberated the proposal at length before supporting recommendations, and are in the process of initiating the review and revision of MEG 3 subject to approval by the Executive Committee in November.


Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) and the Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID)

The training programme for both the Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) and the Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID) programmes continues. The following courses have been held:

  • SIRE Refresher course 14-15 September, held in Singapore, in addition two further Electric Chart Display Information System (ECDIS) courses were held.
  • OVID Refresher Course 16-17 September, held in Singapore.
  • SIRE New Inspector Course 21-25 September, held in Singapore.
  • SIRE Refresher Course 4-5 October, held in Abu Dhabi.
  • OVID New Inspector Course 6 -8 October, held in Abu Dhabi.

China Oil Transportation Safety Forum

Andrew Cassels and Raj Shetty attended the China Oil Transportation Safety Forum (COTSF2015) on 21st October 2015 in Nanjing, China.

The COTSF2015 was hosted in collaboration between China Classification Society (CCS), Sinotrans Limited and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), and was attended by 120 representatives from maritime related parties in China which included the Marine Safety Administration, Water Transportation Bureau (Chinese Government department), major Chinese oil companies, Chinese oil shipping companies, ship design institutes, ship yards and marine equipment manufacturers. It is the premier safety forum held annually in China. At their request, the Director gave a presentation on the key changes to OCIMF recommended best practices resulting from forthcoming revisions to OCIMF publications and information papers.

The keynote speaker, the Chief Engineer at the Ministry of Transport, spoke of China’s focus on reducing pollution. It is their intention to set up three Emission Control Areas in China (Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Rim) with a progressive raising of the emissions requirements for ships in those areas. Additionally, he mentioned developing an Oil Pollution Damage Fund in China. I was pleased to hear that China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) have fully embraced Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID) and the Offshore Vessel Management and Self Assessment (OVMSA) within their own offshore fleet and have brought down the observations experienced from over 100 per vessel to under 10 in a little over a year.

Mark Bell, General Manager of the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF), gave a presentation on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a marine fuel pointing out that there are now over 500 ships in China (excluding duel-fuel vessels) powered by LNG). With so much trade up and down the major Chinese rivers and the strong desire from the authorities to reduce pollution there is a great opportunity to build the infrastructure critical to the success of LNG as fuel.

As you would expect from a safety forum, there was much talk of safety being paramount across the marine sector. It was pleasing to hear OCIMF and the best practices we produce mentioned many times by several speaker.


OCIMF Middle East and Africa Regional Panel

The fifth Middle East and Africa Regional Panel (MEARP) meeting took place on 1 October 2015 in Dubai.

The meeting was held in conjunction with the General Purposes Committee (GPC), whose members attended to support the meeting. The OCIMF Director Andrew Cassels opened the meeting welcoming members and introduced himself before reminding the region of the purpose and background to Regional Panels. He was followed by Patrick Joseph (BP) the GPC chairman elect who spoke about the background to the inert gas task force and progress achieved to date. OCIMF Secretariat staff present provided updates on their respective committees and sub-committees.

In the second session, Carl Henrickson (BG Group) shared his thoughts on the Human Element and his research on Crew Resource Management versus Bridge Resource Management which was received very well by the audience. It was followed by the MEARP Regional Champion Waddah Ghanem (ENOC) who shared his view on the topic and opened the floor for an engaging discussion that followed.

The next MEARP will be held in Dubai on the 7 of April 2016.


Rio Pipeline Conference and Exposition 2015

Following on from the Petrobras hosted workshop on station keeping at single point moorings (SPM’s) which was reported in last month’s newsletter, the organisers arranged for OCIMF, ITOPF, Chevron and Petrobras to participate in a panel session on Ship to Ship (STS) Operations at the Rio Pipeline Conference and Exposition 2015 which was held in parallel to the incident sharing workshop.

OCIMF shared industry best practices and risk mitigation tools available to carry out safe STS operations. Chevron and Petrobras shared the operator’s perspective and International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) gave an overview of what happens in an emergency. An interactive Q&A session followed with the audience which included Brazilian regulators who were keen on better understanding best practices relating to ship to ship transfer operations.

In the photo above standing from left to right: Mark Whittington (ITOPF), Raj Shetty (OCIMF), Luciano Maldonado (Petrobras) and Paul Tait (Chevron Shipping Company).


Vacancy: Merchant Navy Liaison Officer (MNLO)

The OCIMF supported MTISC-GoG project in Accra Ghana currently has an urgent requirement for a new MNLO to replace the current incumbent from the end of November 2015.

The duration of the role is a matter for discussion but is usually between 4-8 weeks. Previous MNLO’S have been both secondees from OCIMF member companies and directly employed contractors; applicants can be contracted on either basis. Ideally the applicant would be a senior officer level mariner (deck or engine).

For further details please contact

Fiona Rider
MTISC-GoG Project Support Officer
[email protected] | +44 (0) 20 7654 1226


New information paper - The Hazards of Snap-back

OCIMF released a new information paper The Hazards of Snap-back in September.

The paper was written in response to an incident where a deck officer in charge of the forward mooring party on board a very large liquid natural gas (LNG) carrier was seriously injured when a tensioned mooring line parted. At the time of the incident, the deck officer was standing in a location that was not identified on board the vessel as being within a snap-back danger zone. This incident has highlighted the behaviour of High Modulus Synthetic Fibre (HMSF) mooring lines fitted with synthetic tails when they fail under load.

Snap-back is the sudden release of the energy stored in a tensioned mooring line when it parts as the mooring line reverts to its original length. The two ends of the line recoil or snap-back towards or past their secured ends. When a synthetic mooring line breaks, the snap-back effect can be extremely powerful and the rope ends may reach a high velocity as they recoil. Anyone standing within the snap-back zone at either end of the line risks serious injury or death.

The information paper provides a brief description of the incident and considers if additional guidance is required. Reference is also made to the incident investigation being conducted by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and the recommendations contained in the interim Safety Bulletin issued in July 2015 (SB1/2015).

The Hazards of Snap-back paper can be downloaded here:

Download Information Paper


New information paper - A Study into Crane Loads Associated with Hose Handling at Offshore Terminals

The long awaited Study into Crane Loads Associated with Hose Handling at Offshore Terminals paper is now available.

In response to concerns raised by our members, OCIMF engaged Herbert Engineering Corp. to conduct an analysis of tanker hose cranes at offshore terminals. A goal of this analysis was to find the expected dynamic effects on the crane loading due to hose-handling operations at offshore terminals. The paper is a summary of their findings.

A Study into Crane Loads Associated with Hose Handling at Offshore Terminals can be downloaded here:

Download Information Paper


2016 dates for your diary

8-9 March General Purposes Committee (GPC) 82 Singapore
10 March Asia Pacific regional panel, Singapore
5-6 April Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC) 84 Dubai
7 April Middle Eastern and African regional panel Dubai
26-27 April Offshore Marine Committee (OMC) 12 Houston
28 April Americas regional panel Houston
15 June European regional panel London
16 June Excom 77 London
20-21 September GPC 83 Houston
22 September Americas regional panel Houston
4-5 October OMC 13 London
6 October European regional panel London.
25-26 October PTC 85 Singapore
27 October Asia Pacific regional panel Singapore
9 November Excom 78 Dubai
10 November Middle Eastern and African regional panel Dubai

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