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Internal Oil Transfer Procedure on board Ships

Updated on July 17, 2013

Fuel oil required for daily operation of various machinery on board ships is taken from supply vessels or ports while berthing. Fuel oil collected is stored in different storage tanks. Number, position and capacity of storage tanks depends on various factors like type of the ship, size, daily consumption of fuel, trade route, etc. After receiving fuel oil in storage tanks, one of the tanks is put into use. From this fuel oil is transferred to settling tank for further treatments.

Keep monitoring tank soundings and temperatures
Keep monitoring tank soundings and temperatures

It is often required to transfer fuel oil among storage tanks. It may be for collecting all fuel oil to one single tank before receiving new fuel oil (to avoid mixing of new and old oil), for stability purpose (adjusting ship's trim, list, etc.), to transfer fuel oil from forward storage tanks to aft storage tanks, for repairs on one storage tanks, etc. Whatever be the purpose, certain safe working practices to be followed, which is discussed here.

Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP)
Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP)

Procedure for Oil Transfer

If internal oil transfer from storage tank to storage tank, is necessary to make vessel upright, order of which may come from Chief Officer or Master, Chief Engineer must be informed.

Particular tanks must be sounded to ascertain quantities and capacities in order to prevent overflowing. Maximum of mixing different bunker specification is 80-20% mixture as per FOM Bunkering Procedures SECTION 4.7.2.

When permission is granted, a permanent engine staff will be on deck to insure no oil spilled, leaked on deck. At the same time duty Engineer / Oiler must monitor the oil transfer in the control room until operation is completed. All information should be recorded in engine room Logbook.

Do not transfer oil while maneuvering the ship
Do not transfer oil while maneuvering the ship

During daily automatic transfer of heavy oil from designated storage tank to heavy oil settling tank, duty Engineer/Oiler must observe while transfer is on-going to insure that the pump will automatically stop at the required pre-set level in settling tank.

During any heavy oil, diesel oil, cylinder oil or any other oil transfer operation, Engineer/Oiler is NOT ALLOWED to do other jobs SIMULTANEOUSLY, he must complete the transfer and secure all proper valves.

In the event that during any oil transfer the Engineer/Oiler has to attend other jobs which are urgent, he must STOP AND DIS-CONTINUE the oil transfer or assign other Engineer/Oiler to complete the oil transfer.

IMMEDIATELY STOP any oil transfer if leakage was observed during operation however small the amount of leakage. Rectify, test and resume oil transfer if leakage has been rectified.

What will be your action when you are called by a senior officer, while you are monitoring an oil transferring?

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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      This is a useful hub, especially to seafarers who work as engineers onboard ship. I'm a seafarer, too, but I'm assigned at the galley department.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      hey..amazing man...excellent posting...

    • jabelufiroz profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from India

      you can use it..thanks

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i was looking industrial engineering content....found it...thnx


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