Study Of Superports And SBMs For Tankers Published

The closure of the Suez Canal in 1967, together with the steady increase in world crude oil movements, precipitated the development of the VLCC fleet (tankers over 175,000 dwt), and later the ULCC fleet (tankers over 300,000 dwt). Initially, world port facilities to handle these supertankers were inadequate, and during the late 1960s and early 1970s several plans for the expansion of existing ports and the creation of entirely new ones were discussed. Many of these went ahead, but the slump of late 1973 meant that several projects never left the drawing board, while others were considerably modified. The aim of Study 55 is to describe and evaluate the current role of supertanker terminals and examine their future development and capability to handle projected worldwide crude oil loading, discharging and transshipment.

The Study begins with an examination of world crude oil movements, which indicates that the greater proportion is suitable for supertanker trading. Main VLCC loading and discharge areas are discussed, and the various types of terminal, including those of the single buoy mooring (SBM) class, are indicated. SECTION I of the Study examines both current and future VLCC/ULCC terminals by crude oil exporting area, and is illustrated by maps of the most important of these areas showing the juxtaposition of oil fields, pipelines, and terminals. This is followed by SECTION II by a discussion of worldwide supertanker discharge and transshipment terminals. This section is also illustrated by maps of the major importing areas showing terminals, pipelines and refining areas. In both these sections terminal throughput is discussed, together with the relative part these terminals play in the whole crude oil export and import pattern.

An analysis of the utilization of supertanker terminals is included in the third section of the Study, which is based on the 1976-77 voyage pattern of a 25 percent sample of the supertanker fleet. The Study concludes with a discussion of future utilization of superports in the light of known port development plans, projected fleet size, and oil movements.

Throughout the Study the importance of SBM's vis-a-vis conventional port facilities is emphasized. Details of all ports and terminals capable of taking VLCCs/ULCCs throughout the world are given, including, wherever possible, number and size of berths, throughput, capacity, operators and development plans.

Study No. 55, "Superports And SMB's For Tankers," can be ordered from HPD Shipping Publications, 34 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1Y 2LL, England, at U.S. $75 per copy.

Other stories from October 1977 issue


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