Developments at OCIMF

In its May, June and July newsletters, OCIMF reported on finding a pathway with climate change, West Africa piracy government initiatives, and concerns about marine loading arm maintenance, and much more.

Recently things have been quite quiet in the Middle East, but you will be aware of the terrorist attacks on two tankers over the past few days [late July 2021], Mercer Street in the Arabian Sea and Alberta in the Red Sea – resulting in the deaths of two seafarers on Mercer Street,” said Rob Drysdale, managing director of OCIMF.

“Condemnation from various countries has followed and there is a real risk of further escalation in the region. I sincerely hope that the situation is not allowed to get out of control.”

Climate change

For climate change initiatives, “there is so much going on within this space that it can be difficult to track what has already been done, what is being done today and what still needs to be done,” Mr Drysdale said.

OCIMF is reviewing what role it will take in greenhouse gas emission reductions. “We cannot be involved in everything, so we need to focus our collaboration efforts where we can best bring value for our members and for the maritime industry as a whole.”

“New fuels, whether they are reduced carbon, carbon neutral or zero carbon, are going to be a big part of the solution.”

“The technical challenges are huge, in fact, technical solutions have a long way to go to have any chance of catching up with the ideas for new fuels and hitting the deadlines set by IMO for 2050 let alone the aspirational targets already being discussed by others.”

“One of the problems not yet fully appreciated is the potential safety impacts of these new fuels on bunkering, storage and handling onboard.”

OCIMF has joined a “Safety of Future Fuels” working group in May, which was launched by the “Together in Safety” coalition (see This group is doing a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat (SWOT) analysis of various fuels, and risk assessments.

West Africa piracy

OCIMF noted that the first meeting between the Nigerian government and the Inter Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) Yaoundé was held on July 14, as the “Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum / Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GOG-MCF/ SHADE).”

The Yaoundé Interregional Coordination Centre in partnership with NIMASA (Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency) and the Nigeria Navy chaired the meeting.

“This is a huge landmark in the journey to addressing maritime piracy, kidnap and ransom in the region. There is still a lot to do, but with the collaboration of all stakeholders I am confident of success,” said Rob Drysdale, managing director of OCIMF.

The Director General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) made the following remarks at the meeting. “Regional coastal states are on the right track, ramping up their law enforcement, judicial processes, and military capabilities to establish maritime security in their waters.

“Among these, Nigeria’s Deep Blue project is notable. It is by far the most ambitious and promising project in the region right now and has the potential, over time, to be a game changer to the fight against piracy.”

OCIMF also said it was pleased about Nigeria’s “Deep Blue” maritime security project. “This is a significant investment in military and law enforcement infrastructure to secure its maritime domain and address the ongoing piracy issue in the Gulf of Guinea,” “Managed by the Nigerian Maritime Safety Agency (NIMASA), the multi-agency project will significantly increase maritime security in the region. A central command and control centre based in Lagos will oversee a network of integrated assets including two special mission vessels, two special mission long-range aircraft, 17 fast-response vessels capable of speeds of 50 knots, three helicopters and four airborne drones, providing 24/7 cover for the region. These complement the Yaoundé ICC structure offering real capability to both Nigeria and the region.”

“OCIMF hopes Deep Blue assets, coordinated with the activities of other navies and programmes through the mechanism of the GOG-MCF/SHADE, will seriously impact on the ability of pirate groups to prey on merchant shipping.”

IACS meeting

OCIMF joined an International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) meeting on Jul 19-21, for an update on progress on working groups, in the lead up to an annual “Tripartite” event in Autumn. The three parties represent shipowners, shipyards and class, discussing design, construction and operation of new and future ships.
Themes of the discussion were decarbonisation, human-centred design, design safety and digitalisation. There were updates on fire risks due to leakage from low pressure fuel pipes, and on the joint industry working group on anchoring equipment.

Mooring equivalency

OCIMF has initiated and is funding a joint industry project to study the performance of mooring systems, in order to see how alternative mooring systems compare. The project is being led by research institute MARIN.

Examples of alternative mooring systems are vacuum pads and magnets. There have been growing safety concerns about conventional (rope based) mooring systems due to injuries after ropes have snapped.

“OCIMF supports the application of new technology when its safety and reliability can be demonstrated,” OCIMF said.

The MARIN led project will also identify the most important data to analyse, when assessing a mooring system.

Root cause investigations

At the IACS meeting, OCIMF presented an update on an IMO submission to MSC 104 to amend the Casualty Investigation Code to mandate root cause investigations.

This follows OCIMF’s analysis of an investigation report into the Sanchi-CF Crystal incident (collision between a tanker and bulk carrier off Shanghai in 2018 with 32 casualties). The analysis showed a lack of evidence related to human factors were identified during the investigation.

SIRE 2.0 inspector training

OCIMF’s SIRE 2.0 training programme for SIRE CAT 1 accredited inspectors began with the first course successfully conducted from 19-23 July.

Each course consists of a segment on human factors and non-technical skills, delivered by industry experts, and has segments on technical skills as well as a focus on Ethics and Code of Conduct.

Online courses are being held weekly in different time zones to facilitate the transition of existing SIRE inspectors to the SIRE 2.0 programme, which will commence on 1 April 2022.

Website / annual report

In July, OCIMF rolled out a new website at The content is now available in nine languages. “I believe it is much more intuitive than the old version and should be easy for you to navigate,” said Rob Drysdale, managing director.

The 2021 OCIMF Annual Report, covering activities throughout 2020, is now available to download from the website at OCIMF - Oil Companies International Marine Forum - Annual Reports

Marine Loading Arm failure

OCIMF noted that the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a “Safety Alert” after a catastrophic failure of a Marine Loading Arm (MLA) at a UK terminal.

This was found to be due to lack of lubrication, leading to a failure of the pivot.

In its report, the HSE Alert referenced OCIMF documents – the SIGTTO/OCIMF Jetty Maintenance and Inspection Guide 2008 and OCIMF Design and Construction Specification for Marine Loading Arms 2019.

OCIMF is currently revising the Jetty Maintenance and Inspection Guide and will take into account immediate findings for inclusion into the revision of current guidance for MLAs, it said.

California berth emissions

OCIMF has joined a workshop organised by DNV, related to their technology assessment of emissions control regulations being considered for vessels at berth in California.

The full name of the regulations is “2020 amendments to California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Ocean-Going Vessels at Berth Regulation.”

Over 40 stakeholders joined the workshops, representing ports, terminals operators, shipping companies, equipment vendors, trade organisations, Classification Societies, as well as oil companies (OCIMF).

The discussion included understanding requirements for shore power technology, categorising the “novelty” level of elements involved, and identifying critical risks. OCIMF provided input on engineering, operational and safety aspects in connecting shore power to tankers. A future step will include assessing threats and risks.



OCIMF participates in a number of working groups from the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC).

This includes working groups on design and assessment of marine oil, gas and petrochemical terminals; design and assessment of marine single point mooring and multi point mooring facilities; design of fender systems; criteria for acceptable movement of ships at berths; mooring bollards and hooks; met ocean related risk in construction of marine works; and inspection, maintenance and repair of waterfront facilities.

OCIMF members provide expertise from the oil and gas sector, in operations, inspection and maintenance of infrastructure.

Tanker Accident Database

OCIMF encourages tanker operators to register with the Tanker Accident Database, so they can submit reports about accidents, which are then anonymised, so that OCIMF / Intertanko is only able to read about the accidents, not the company involved.

The database is operated by an independent company, MIS Marine, on behalf of OCIMF and Intertanko, but with OCIMF / Intertanko not having any access to the data collection area.

Data can only be submitted by vessel operators holding a Document of Compliance.

The way the system maintains anonymity is by having two separate digital systems. The data is entered into a first system, all information that could possibly identify a company is stripped away, and then it is added to a second system.

The data is used for statistical analysis, trending and benchmarking.

“Despite being launched during a global pandemic many companies have already registered and begun submitting data.

The more companies that join them the better the data pool becomes,” OCIMF said. More information is at https://www. Standards Institute OCIMF has joined the “Maritime Works” committee CB/502 under the British Standards Institute.

It monitors European and international activity in equivalent work areas, particularly Eurocodes and optimisation of UK influence.

It oversees the BS 6349 series of standards that provides guidance on the planning, design, construction and maintenance of maritime structures.

STS hoses guidelines

OCIMF has a new paper, “Guidelines for the Handling, Storage, Use, Maintenance and Testing of STS Hoses.” It is designed to be used together with OCIMF’s STS Transfer Guide and ISGOTT. It is available from download from its website.


The Environmental Functional Committee met on July 2, to finalise the committee environmental plan, to review progress on emerging risks, and to review recent IMO meeting briefs on greenhouse gases.

The Human Factors Functional Committee met on June 23, looking at an information paper on the human factors element for the TMSA, due to be published in Sept 2021; contributions to SIRE 2.0 including human factors training and a review of human factors related questions.

OCIMF held a meeting of its executive committee on Jun 9-10. Topics included a strategy implementation update; in-depth discussion on OCIMF’s draft Environment Plan; secondee resourcing; update on SIRE 2.0 progress; 2021 financial projection versus approved budget; principal and Functional Committee updates. The next meeting is scheduled for 1 December 2021 in London.

OCIMF’s Maritime Security Committee held a meeting on June 9, looking at development of OCIMF’s Risk Advisory Function; completing new guidance for the Employment of PMSCs (Private Maritime Security Contractors); reviewing the Indian Ocean High Risk Area.

The Programmes Committee met on June 15, making decisions on the Vessel Inspection Programme (VIP) project that will deliver SIRE 2.0, new criteria for becoming a Programme Submitting Company, review of work experience requirements for applicant inspectors, launching of the revised Programmes policies, procedures and user guidance, and launching of the Programmes Participants Code of Conduct.


Barge inspections

The European Barge Inspection Scheme (EBIS), which has been running by oil and chemical companies since 1998, was transitioned into OCIMF’s Ship Inspection

Report (SIRE) programme on 1 January 2021, to create a single barge inspection scheme within Europe.

There has been an “OCIMF-EBIS Transition Taskforce” and a “BIQ5-EBIS9 Inspection Working Group” managing the change.

Half of EBIS members are now approved by OCIMF to commission IQ-EBIS9 inspections within the SIRE programme.




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