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.

Community engagement

Our social investment philosophy is to focus outreach on the communities in which we operate.

Education is a natural priority, and accounts for the bulk of our social investment.

Our links with the UK-based Marine Society and Sea Cadets continue to be strengthened. In the past few years we have been working closely with them to develop the curriculum of an educational programme for our seafarers.

We sponsor the Sailors’ Society, which operates in 100 ports and 30 countries and supports seafarers when they reach port.

Other projects

Mission to Seafarers

Mission to Seafarers work in over 260 ports caring for seafarers of all ranks, nationalities and beliefs. Through their global network of chaplains, staff and volunteers they offer practical, emotional and spiritual support to seafarers through ship visits, drop-in centres and a range of welfare and emergency support services. In over 100 ports, they have Flying Angel centres provide a ‘home away from home’ for seafarers have been at sea. Seafarers are able to enjoy time away from their ship and use internet and phone facilities to get in touch with loved ones as well. 

Merchant Navy Welfare Board

We funded a project to pay for an installation of an electronic kiosk and an online access for anyone wishing to find their loved ones who were lost at sea on board a merchant ship during the conflicts of the 20th Century (1st and 2nd World Wars).

Seafarers UK

Provide grants to specialist maritime charities and organisations, often small local ones, that are working to help serving and ex-serving seafarers and their families who are experiencing hardship. Their key aim is to provide sustainable funding and improve the quality of life for those in greatest need. In 2013, we awarded 98 grants to 84 organisations across the UK and Commonwealth for a total of £2.5 million. The charities we supported provide services that have a direct and positive impact on the lives and well-being of individuals, their families and their local communities.

National Memorial Arboretum

We supported the plantation of trees at the NMA in memory of those British and Commonwealth Merchant Ships on which many seafarers lost their lives in World War 2. 

Staff Volunteer & Community Service Day

Each year BP Shipping staff is involved in volunteering and supporting different charities on either individual or collective basis and we are quite proud to support staff’s initiatives to help build a better community and future for the less privileged and those who need most help. This year BP Shipping staff volunteered to paint, decorate and help those living with dementia and learning disabilities to participate in leisure activities based on their individual needs. 

Merchant Navy Association

BP Shipping annually volunteers its serving Master or Chief Engineer to attend the Merchant Navy Day Commemorative Service at the Merchant Navy Memorial at Trinity Square Gardens, Tower Hill in London, to pay its respect and lay a wreath in memory of its past seafarers who lost lives on board British Tanker Company (former name of BP Shipping) during the WW1 & WWII. 

In total, BP Shipping has donated over £50,000 for the community support in the last year in the UK alone.