Guidelines for Offshore Tanker Operations

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Number of Pages:
Published Date:
November 2018
Book Height:
305 mm
Book Width:
215 mm
1.3 kg
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This publication provides guidance on the general principles, procedures and equipment required to safely moor and transfer cargo between offshore terminals and offtake tankers.

This publication provides information and guidance on the safe management of the interface between offshore terminals and offtake tankers, focussing on F(P)SO and SPM buoy terminals and conventional and DP tankers. It will be of use to tanker technical operators, terminal operators, tanker-based personnel, terminal-based personnel, offshore project development teams and regulatory officials.

It updates and supersedes the following OCIMF publications:

  • Offshore Loading Safety Guidelines with Special Relevance to Harsh Weather Zones
  • Tandem Mooring and Offloading Guidelines for Conventional Tankers at F(P)SO Facilities
  • Recommendations for Equipment Employed in the Bow Mooring of Conventional Tankers at Single Point Moorings.

Section one – Applicable codes and standards

1.1 Offshore terminals used for cargo transfer

1.2 Offtake tankers

Section two – F(P)SO subsea mooring and cargo transfer philosophy

2.1 Definition and application

2.2 Operating environments

2.3 F(P)SO subsea mooring configurations

2.4 F(P)SO location relative to other structures

2.5 Basis of design and cargo transfer philosophy development

Section three – Offshore terminal mooring configuration and equipment

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Mooring system design

3.3 Using simulation of motions and forces to assess likely hawser loads

3.4 Single and dual hawser mooring systems

3.5 Mooring system equipment

Section four – Offshore terminal cargo transfer configuration and equipment

4.1 Configuration

4.2 Cargo pumping system

4.3 Custody transfer system

4.4 Manifold

4.5 Hose flushing configurations

4.6 Cargo hoses and equipment

4.7 Quick release couplings

4.8 Cargo hose end fittings

4.9 Overpressure and surge protection

4.10 Cargo containment

4.11 Lifting and other equipment

4.12 Terminal interface for offtake tanker surge prevention and overpressure protection

4.13 Terminal interface for offtake tanker equipment maintenance and repair

Section five – Offtake tanker mooring and cargo transfer equipment and configuration

5.1 All offtake tankers

5.2 Offtake tanker technical operator responsibilities

5.3 Conventional tankers

5.4 Bow loading tankers

Section six – Station keeping

6.1 Conventional tankers

6.2 Station keeping using tugs

6.3 Mooring layout for tug escort and pull-back, and aft mooring deck design

6.4 Stern mooring winch configuration

6.5 Disconnection of towline

6.6 DP systems

Section seven – Personnel transfer facilities

7.1 General

7.2 Support vessel transfer

7.3 Basket transfer

7.4 Helicopter transfer

7.5 Other information

Section eight – Conventional tanker operations

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Night operations

8.3 Competence of offshore operations personnel

8.4 Communication requirements for operations

8.5 Terminal operational factors

8.6 Conventional tanker approach to terminals

8.7 Pre-arrival preparations

8.8 Pre-mooring preparations

8.9 Mooring operations

8.10 Pre-transfer conference

8.11 Cargo hose connection

8.12 Station keeping management

8.13 Cargo handling

8.14 Disconnection and unmooring

8.15 Manning and watch standing

8.16 Environmental limitations for cargo transfer operations

8.17 Requirements for support vessels

8.18 Mooring and line handling

8.19 Cargo hose handling

8.20 Tug assistance overview

8.21 Offshore terminal: organisation and responsibilities

Section nine – DP bow loading tanker operations

9.1 General

9.2 Safety critical elements

9.3 Operational safety

9.4 Training and competence of offshore operations personnel

9.5 F(P)SO operational factors

9.6 Approach to terminals

9.7 Pre-transfer conference

9.8 Station keeping operations

9.9 Cargo handling

9.10 Disconnection and unmooring

9.11 Manning and watch standing

9.12 Requirements for support vessels

9.13 Use of Tanker Assist Vessels at offshore terminals

9.14 Offshore terminal: organisation and responsibilities

Section ten – Risk management

10.1 General

10.2 Offshore cargo transfer operations: general

10.3 Hazards and effects management process

10.4 Offshore terminal to conventional tanker cargo transfer hazard identification

10.5 Risk assessment

10.6 Risk control

10.7 Mitigated risk assessment

10.8 Recovery measures

10.9 Primary field risk management methodology: field operator and offtake tanker technical operator interface

Section eleven – Emergency and contingency planning

11.1 Emergency scenarios

11.2 Emergency towing and standby vessel specifications


Appendix A – Types of offshore terminals

A1 General

A2 Surface F(P)SOs

A3 Surface Single Point Mooring systems

A4 Sub-surface loading systems

A5 Offshore terminals for use in ice

A6 Dynamically Positioned Loading Terminal

Appendix B – Recommendations for DP bow loading tanker training and experience

B1 DP offtake tanker training: general

B2 Offshore loading training

B3 Emergency tow training exercises

Appendix C – Assurance processes for DP bow loading tankers

C1 Purpose

C2 Background

C3 Acceptance of new offshore terminals and new offtake tankers intended to be regularly used in the field (primary and secondary pool tankers)

C4 Ongoing acceptance of regularly used offtake tankers (primary or secondary pool tankers)

C5 One-off acceptance of previously unapproved alternative tankers at short notice

Appendix D – Tanker Assist Vessel for DP bow loading operations

D1 Overview

D2 Equipment requirements

D3 Tanker Assist Vessel operations

Appendix E – Examples of conventional tanker–terminal information exchanges

E1 Pre-mooring checklist (Mooring Master and conventional tanker Master exchange)

E2 Pre-cargo transfer conference checklist

E3 Pre-departure checklist

E4 Watchkeeper SPM position reporting guide

Appendix F – DP bow loading operational checklists

F1 Example of DP bow loading tanker and terminal operations checklists

F2 Example offshore terminal checklists

F3 Example DP bow loading tanker checklists

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is a voluntary association of oil companies with an interest in the shipment and terminalling of crude oil, oil products, petrochemicals and gas. OCIMF focuses exclusively on preventing harm to people and the environment by promoting best practice in the design, construction and operation of tankers, barges and offshore vessels and their interfaces with terminals. Learn more at

Number of Pages:
Published Date:
November 2018
Binding Format:
Book Height:
305 mm
Book Width:
215 mm
1.3 kg