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Survey Documentation - Vessel Inspection

- Vessel Experience Factor

Data of previous voyages must be obtained from the vessel's representative for use in calculating the vessel experience factor (VEF).  Record any comments about previous vessel/shore comparison contained in the vessel's records.  The VEF may be used for volume reconciliation.

On multi-grade or specialized vessels, the ship's staff may have experience factors on an individual tank basis.  This fact should be noted, especially on product movements in which more than one type and/or grade is being carried.

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- Draft, Trim and List

Record the draft, trim and list on the On-Board Quantity / Remaining On Board Report and the Vessel Ullage / Sounding and Capacity Report.

When barges have no list or trim correction tables, the cargo inspector must note this fact in the report, along with data on the relative location of the gauge hatch - forward, center or aft.  The lack of list and trim tables could impair the voyage analysis and application of VEF.

- Remaining Ballast

For most cargoes, there should be no remaining ballast remaining in the cargo tanks, lines or pumps.  Any ballast on board should be totally segregated.  Measure and record the quantity of any ballast left on board prior to loading.  Record the presence of and sample any measurable petroleum in the ballast tanks.  Use the On-Board Quantity / Remaining On Board Report to record these measurements.

It may be noted that, if simultaneous de-ballasting must be performed during loading operations, determine the reason from the vessel's representative and record it on the inspection report.  Indicate single / double valve separations, if any, between clean/dirty ballast and cargo systems.

- Vessel Lines and Tanks

All vessel tanks, including cargo, ballast and cofferdams should be inspected prior to loading.

For crude and dirty products, request that the vessel's personnel drain the deck lines into the cargo or slop tanks.  Measure the amount of cargo or ballast water dropped into the tank and sample it if a sufficient quantity exists.  In addition, record on the Vessel Ullage / Sounding and Capacity Report the capacity of the lines that were drained.  Report the transfer of any engine slops or other liquid into the cargo or slop tanks.

For clean petroleum products, the pipelines on the vessel must be scrutinized closely for cleanliness prior to loading.  If the previous cargo poses a contamination problem, all lines and pumps should be cleaned thoroughly and drained.  Noted on the inspection report how cleaning and draining was accomplished.

When the vessel is inspected for tank acceptability prior to loading, the entire loading pipeline system should be open.  Inspection should include all tank valves, block valves, pump casing drains, strainer plugs and manifold header valves.  With the entire system open, any remaining residue may be apparent by sight or smell.

On most petroleum product movements, especially on cargoes that are designated as clean products, an internal tank inspection should be performed while the tank is free of gas.  Approved safety procedures for entering the tank must be observed.  The tank inspection must be conducted in accordance with the Charterer's tank cleanliness requirements.

For vessels on which the presence of inert gas and/or retains in the tanks will preclude and internal tank inspection, additional steps may be required to determine tank acceptability.

The type and condition of tank coatings, along with the method of cleaning the tanks, must be determined and noted.  If necessary, the condition of the heating coils should be checked.

A wall wash or wipe test may be needed to verify a tank's acceptability.  If possible contamination is suspected, loading should not begin until all parties mutually agree to proceed.

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

- On-Board Quantity Measurement

Obtain and record reference heights from the calibration tables prior to taking opening gauges and water cuts. Record the observed gauge heights in the field workbook.  Investigate and report any discrepancies.  Determine the amount and nature of any material on board (on-board quantity) prior to loading, including all in-transit cargo and material in non-designated cargo spaces (Refer to MPMS Chapter 17.2).  Describe material found in the bottom of tanks as liquid cargo, non-liquid cargo, sediment/sludge, or free water or a combination of each.

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

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