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Survey Documentation - Before Loading

- Key Meeting

- General

Before loading begins, one or more meetings should be held among cargo inspectors, vessel representative and shore operational personnel who are involved in the loading operation.  At these meetings, key operational people are identified and their responsibilities are defined, communication procedures are arranged and loading procedures and plans are reviewed to ensure a full understanding of all activities by everyone concerned.

In addition, all parties should agree on the cargo's specification and quantity with reference to the Cargo Quantity Certificate.  An agreement should be reached on whether the shore or ship personnel will terminate the loading (simply known as 'shore stop' or 'ship stop'). 

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Check with the vessel's representative for reports of any unusual events that may have occurred during the sea passage or at the previous port(s) and that may require special vigilance during loading.

When appropriate, determine the condition and suitability of the vessel's heating system.  The vessel's representative should confirm the vessel's ability to heat the cargo as instructed.  Check with shore personnel to ensure that no special condition exist on shore that may adversely affect the loading activity or measurement such as adverse weather or construction work or access routes.  A letter of protest should be issued to any party failing to comply with recommended procedures.

Any operational procedures that are incapable of yielding positive measurement control must be reviewed and alternative procedures must be investigated.

For petroleum product cargoes, it is necessary to determine which vessel tanks will be loaded, the capacity of the tanks, the condition of the lines, the nature of the vessel's last three cargoes and the method of cleaning of the cargo tanks.  This information is necessary in order to determine the compatibility of the tanks with the product to be loaded.

On multi-grade vessels, it may be necessary to load the vessel in a certain order to avoid contamination of certain grades via the manifold and other cross over pipelines.  This should be discussed and the order by grade and/or product should be agreed upon before loading operations begin.

If there is any question concerning compatibility or contamination, all interested parties should be notified and the questions resolved prior to commencement of loading.  If 'first-foot' samples are required, a decision on the tanks to be used for such samples and the quantity of petroleum to be loaded for the sample should be made.

The suggested checklist or similar document should be used and submitted along with the completed inspection report.

- Blending

If blending aboard the vessel is involved, it is critical to ensure that all the volumes loaded are in agreement with the volumes used to test the volumetric hand-blend before loading.  If the material contained in shore lines is to be loaded, a line sample should be taken and included in the volumetric hand-blend to be tested.

To aid blending, the heaviest component may be loaded first, followed by the lighter components.  The volume should be gauged after each component is loaded.  The vessel's previous cargo and any on-board quantities (OBQ) should be taken into consideration for their effect on the blending operation.  Blends may require adjustment to maintain the mutually agreed upon blend specifications.

It may be noted that vessel tank samples often will not be representative of proportional hand-blends tested at the port of loading

Sections of text taken from API - MPMS Chapter 17 Marine Measurement

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