BP’s shipping business, which completed about 1,400 voyages to or from U.S. ports in 2017, has worked to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and make its operations more sustainable while also supporting the growth of natural gas.
For example, BP Shipping recently designed and built 26 new product and crude tankers that are over 20% more fuel-efficient than its previous generation tankers. It’s also building six new liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers that will be roughly 25% more fuel-efficient than their predecessors.
The new LNG tankers will feature hull designs that make them faster and easier to maneuver, along with state-of- the-art engines that utilize evaporated or “boil-off” gas from cargo tanks as fuel. With a thermal efficiency of around 52%, they will be the most efficient marine engines on the market, reducing CO2, nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide and particulate emissions when operating in gas mode.
“These will be the largest LNG vessels BP Shipping has ever owned or operated,” says BP Shipping Americas President Lambros Klaoudatos. “They’ll play a vital role in the company’s future, supporting our shift to gas.”
Once delivered, the new LNG tankers will help increase BP’s global LNG portfolio by an additional 4.4 million metric tons per year. In America, the vessels will service BP’s 20-year liquefaction contract with the LNG terminal in Freeport, Texas.
“BP continues to expand the reach of our LNG business and serve our customers with flexible solutions by leveraging our scale, integration and relationships,” says Klaoudatos. “The expansion of the gas fleet allows us both to manage risks and to grow our own capability for the future while remaining at the forefront of this rapidly growing and important global business.”
BP Shipping first began transporting oil and gas products more than a century ago. In fact, it is BP’s oldest continuously operating business unit, with a history that dates to 1915, when the British Tanker Company started carrying products from Persia.
Today, it brings the company’s oil and gas cargoes to market while providing technical and maritime expertise for its business activities.
In 2017, BP Shipping moved more than 47 million metric tons of cargo to or from U.S. ports. By way of perspective, 47 million metric tons of concrete would be enough to build seven Hoover Dams.
The business relies on a combination of company-operated, time-chartered and spot-chartered vessels.
BP also owns a 25% stake in the Alaska Tanker Company (ATC), which it helped create in 1999 to consolidate all of its Alaskan crude oil shipping requirements into one operating company. ATC’s four tankers deliver crude oil from the Valdez Marine Terminal in southeast Alaska to facilities on the West Coast and in Hawaii.
BP Shipping works hard to monitor the safety, not only of its own vessels, but also of third-party vessels moving BP cargoes. As part of those efforts, it runs a ship-vetting and port/terminal inspection program in which BP teams rigorously assess vessels based on a range of criteria, including management, operational, crewing and structural standards.
In 2018, the Chamber of Shipping of America recognized the crews of 15 BP vessels for their excellent safety performance, honoring them with the prestigious Jones F. Devlin Award. To receive the award, a merchant marine vessel must operate for at least two years without a crew member losing a full turn at watch due to an occupational injury.