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Encyclopedia > Supertanker

A supertanker is an unofficial nickname that applies to a certain class of tanker ship built to transport very large quantities of liquids; in practice this typically refers to crude oil. Supertankers are usually considered to be Very-Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) and Ultra-Large Crude Carriers (ULCC). Among those involved in the shipping industry, it is common practice to refer to supertankers by their size (VLCC, ULCC, Panamax, Suezmex, etc) since the term "supertanker" tends to be ambigious and open to interpretation. A tanker is a ship designed to transport liquids in bulk. ... Italian ship-rigged vessel Amerigo Vespucci in New York Harbor, 1976 A ship is a large, sea-going watercraft, usually with multiple decks. ... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario Petroleum (from Greek petra – rock and elaion – oil or Latin oleum – oil ) or crude oil is a thick, dark brown or greenish liquid. ...

Commercial crude oil supertanker AbQaiq.
Commercial crude oil supertanker AbQaiq.

Tanker ships above 250,000 tonnes deadweight tonnage are generally considered supertankers. They are the largest ships in the world, larger even than supercarriers; the largest of which is the Knock Nevis, weighing in at 647,955 tonnes fully laden. When first introduced, their size and draft prevented them from docking at many existing docks, requiring them to discharge their cargo into smaller tankers offshore. Some ports have developed special deep-water off-loading facilities connected to the land by pipelines (for an example, see Louisiana Offshore Oil Port). Supertankers are also very efficient ships, relying on a single propeller for propulsion, and typically account for only US $0.02 per gallon of gas at the pump. [citation needed] Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1200x436, 79 KB)Caption: 030628-N-6077T-003 Central Command Area of Responsibility (Jun. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1200x436, 79 KB)Caption: 030628-N-6077T-003 Central Command Area of Responsibility (Jun. ... Tonnage is a measure of the size or cargo capacity of a ship. ... USS , a typical supercarrier, and HMS Illustrious, a light V/STOL aircraft carrier on a joint patrol. ... Promotional image of the Jahre Viking reconstruction from the Keppel Shipyard, Singapore The Knock Nevis is a Norwegian owned supertanker, formerly known as Seawise Giant, Happy Giant, and Jahre Viking. ... In nautical parlance, draft is the depth below waters surface of the lowest part of a ship or boat. ... A tanker is a ship designed to transport liquids in bulk. ... The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) is a deepwater port in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana near the town of Port Fourchon. ...


Due to their size and mass, supertankers have very poor maneuverability; the stopping distance of a supertanker is typically measured in miles. When operating close to the shoreline they are vulnerable to running aground, whether due to mechanical failure, human error or bad weather. When this happens, oil spills are a significant risk. A typical modern supertanker can carry approximately two million barrels of oil. In "single-hulled" tankers, the hull is also the wall of the oil tanks, and any breach will result in an oil spill. Newer tankers are "double-hulled", with a space between the hull and the storage tanks, to reduce the risk of a spill in the event that the outer hull is breached. This space is used to carry water ballast when the ship is not carrying an oil cargo. In practice the addition of an extra hull to a supertanker should prevent such a ship from suffering a catastophic breach of the hull; however the full benifits of a double hull tanker with regard to safty have never been tested, nor have they demonstrated in an actual situtation involving a supertanker. Volunteers cleaning up the aftermath of the Prestige oil spill An oil spill is the intentional or unintentional release of oil (generally, petroleum) into the natural environment as a result of human activity. ... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario Petroleum (from Greek petra – rock and elaion – oil or Latin oleum – oil ) or crude oil is a black, dark brown or greenish liquid found in porous rock formations in the earth. ...


Following the Exxon Valdez incident, the United States mandated in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA-90) that all supertankers entering United States waters be double-hulled by 2015. The European Union has similar legislation requiring all tankers entering their waters to be double-hulled by 2010. By doing this, incidents like the Exxon Valdez oil spill may possibly be avoided. The Exxon Valdez oil spill was the most devastating environmental disaster to occur at sea in history. ... A double-hulled tanker is a large tanker ship used for transporting liquids (usually petroleum). ... This article is about the tank vessel Exxon Valdez. ...


The largest known double-hulled supertanker in the world is the Hellespont Fairfax. Completed in January 2003, it boasts a deadweight tonnage of 442,470 tonnes. The Hellespont Fairfax is the largest double-hulled supertanker in the world. ... Dead weight tonnage refers to the weight, in long tons, that a ship can safely carry when fully loaded. ...


See also

  • Knock Nevis, the largest ship in the world
  • Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C diesel engine which propels modern day supertankers.
  • Hellespont Fairfax, the largest double-hulled supertanker in the world.

Promotional image of the Jahre Viking reconstruction from the Keppel Shipyard, Singapore The Knock Nevis is a Norwegian owned supertanker, formerly known as Seawise Giant, Happy Giant, and Jahre Viking. ... The Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C turbocharged two-stroke diesel engine is the largest engine in the world, designed for large container ships. ... The Hellespont Fairfax is the largest double-hulled supertanker in the world. ... A double-hulled tanker is a large tanker ship used for transporting liquids (usually petroleum). ...

External links

  • Google Maps Satellite Photo of a supertanker off the New York coast.
  • Google Maps Satellite Photo and Google Maps Satellite Photo of two supertankers in the Sunda Strait, Indonesia.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Supertanker - Encyclopedia of Earth (402 words)
Supertankers are a remarkable technological response to market conditions that promoted economies of scale without apparent bound in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.
Fully-loaded supertankers (especially efficient diesel-powered VLCCs built in 1990s) reduced unit shipping costs dramatically, but partial loads could not sustain economies of scale; many were scrapped in the 1980s and 90s or used for storage.
The largest supertanker ever built was the 555,843 dwt 'Seawise Giant', refitted in 2004 as a floating storage and offloading unit named the 'Knock Nevis'.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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