You can see many different processes that are included when it comes to shipping. Some of these processes are considered to be crucial. One of these processes is what is known as lightering. This involves the transfer of oil cargo from one ship to the other. The process of lightering is basically done due to economic purposes. Once crude oil will be shipped to the US then it is the one that will need to make use of VLCC’s or very large crude carriers some even make use of ULCC’s or ultra-large crude carriers. Since these vessels are too large, many do the ports might not be able to have the required depth to accommodate them. There are also other ports that will have narrow entrances which makes the entry of these large vessels near to impossible. For this very reason, it is the process of lightering that will need to be done. This will allow the smaller tankers to offload the oil crude from larger tankers without the need to dock.
The process of lightering starts by utilizing a smaller tanker alongside the larger tanker. Once everything is in place, the two vessels will be moored together using lines. It is also the process that will be making use of large rubber bumpers which are called fenders. This is needed to avoid any unnecessary damage to both ships while both of them drift at sea. With the help of hoses, the crude oil cargo from the larger vessel will be transferred to the smaller tanker. The sea condition will help determine if the process will be done while both ships are anchored or while they are on their way. The very process of lightering can be done in different locations which will still depend on the water depth and the traffic in the area. Some lightering activities happen at around twenty to sixty miles from land. The right location of the whole process should be properly determined because if not then the process will just be less convenient and time-consuming at the same time.
It is also lightering that can be done on oil spill scenarios. Just like any other process though, it is lightering that cannot be done in every all spill cases. You need to know that factors will need to be considered like the type of oil that has been spilled. There are some oils that can become viscous or thicker over a period of time. This will result in a harder process since it will be difficult to pump it up. The benefits from collecting oil this way should be weighed upon by the risk that it presents.
Once oil shipping companies will be considering this process then it is them that can see a lot of lightering service providers in the market. It is important for them to ensure though that they will be hiring knowledgeable and experienced companies. These lightering companies will ensure that the process will be as smooth as possible. This will ensure proper handling of the oil to secure profit and the safety of the environment.