What we do

What we do

Transporting oil and gas products across the world's oceans.

BP Shipping began life in 1915 as the British Tanker Company Limited, carrying oil products from Persia. The oldest continuous business unit in the BP group, over the past six years it has been transformed into a centre of marine expertise within the BP group. It is recognised for that expertise in the wider shipping community.

Today we are seen as a growing, technically innovative organisation that gets the job done safely and efficiently, as well as one that constantly seeks to raise standards. We provide the logistics to move BP's oil and gas cargoes to market, as well as technical marine assurance on everything that floats in the BP group.

We operate a rigorous ship-vetting and port/terminal inspection programme. And we actively support and encourage moves by the shipping industry to improve safety and environmental performance.

Assessing risk

The effective management of Safety and Operating (S&O) risks is at the heart of everything BP Shipping does, with the aim being to identify all risk exposure to the BP Group from our operations and then prioritise resources and activities to manage those risks.

Sound risk management decisions are built on the application of appropriate tools and rigorous processes, supported by the judgment of competent people. A structured risk management process is a consistent method of identifying, assessing and ranking the impact and probability of potential operational hazards, then applying effective barriers and prioritised resources.

Working with partners

Our remit is to ensure that management services provided by third-party ship managers are aligned with the standards and expectations of the BP Group.
BP Shipping’s primary points of contact with third-party ship managers and ships on time charters exceeding four months are the fleet operations Time Charter Superintendents.

At any point in time they can be working with more than 50 external ship managers and have at least 80 vessels under their remit. They are not responsible for the day-to-day management of these vessels, nor for approving vessels for time charter. Instead, they ensure that management services provided by third-party managers are aligned with the standards and expectations of the BP Group.

Key activities include ensuring that the terms of the charter party are complied with through ship inspections, fostering relationships between sea staff and BP Shipping, and encouraging the sharing of best practice.

Safety plays a central role in this assurance process. The team also establishes and manages Health, safety, security and environmental performance contracts with each third-party ship manager and time charter owner. The contracts cover the overall fleet of vessels run by that owner or manager, rather than just vessels the owner or manager may have on time charter to BP.

The Time Charter Superintendents also act as a catalyst to improve third-party safety standards, and provide advice and assistance where possible in the event of a significant incident.

Where we operate

What we carry

BP Shipping evaluates its portfolio of vessels to ensure the safe transportation of hydrocarbons for the BP Group in line with Group strategy

International fleet

At the end of 2014, we had 49 international vessels (33 medium-size crude and product carriers, five very large crude carriers, eight LNG carriers and three LPG carriers). All these ships are double-hulled. Of the eight LNG carriers, BP manages one on behalf of a joint venture in which it is a participant.

Regional and specialist vessels

In Alaska, we retain a fleet of four double-hulled vessels. Outside the US, we had 14 specialist vessels (two double-hulled lubricants oil barges, 8 Rescue and Recovery vessels and 4 offshore support vessels).

Time-charter vessels

At the end of 2012 BP had 111 hydrocarbon-carrying vessels above 600 deadweight tonnes on time-charter, all of which are double-hulled. All these vessels participate in BP’s Time Charter Assurance Programme.

Spot-charter vessels

BP spot-charters vessels, typically for single voyages. These vessels are always vetted for safety assurance prior to each use.

Other vessels

BP uses various craft such as tugs, crew boats and seismic vessels in support of the group’s business. We also use sub-600 deadweight tonne barges to carry hydrocarbons on inland waterways.