19Oct2017Headlines:

Super Tanker

The past century can be noted for the construction of the super tanker and as we proceed in to the future we expect to see even larger tankers than we have today. The super tanker was primarily built to carry crude oil. With the increase in fuel oil consumption by the estimated 750- 800 million registered automobiles and the even increasing requirement for oil as an energy source in developing and developed nations around the world, oil transportation had to be improved to meet demand in the market.

The super tanker era began after the Second World War due to fierce competition among the oil transportation companies of the time. During and after the Second World War the T2 was considered as the biggest oil tanker. They were built using specifications that would allow them to sail across the Suez Canal, since the canal reduced a huge distance around the African peninsular. After the Suez Crisis of 1956 which led to the closure of the canal, oil transporting companies had to consider other alternatives that would reduce the cost of transporting the shipment almost twice the distance.

1958 saw Daniel K. Ludwig break the 100,000 long tons barrier with the construction of the Universe Apollo. It was capable of displacing 104, 500 long turn. This was approximately 25% more than the previous record holder. Super tanker evolution had begun and the vessels kept getting bigger and bigger and the years went by. Each super tanker was built for the same reasons reducing costs and keeping pace with the demand that the new world now had.

In 1979 the world’s largest super tanker was unveiled; the vessels had a capacity of 564,763 DWT and measured a staggering 458.45 meters. The vessel still remains the biggest manmade moving object ever constructed. The vessel was first unveiled with the name Seawise Giant but changed names several times until eventually being scrapped in 2009. The vessel still holds the record as the biggest super tanker ever build, but has had some vessels threatening the title but never really breaking the record. During her last years the vessel was converted from a sailing tanker to storage tanker called a mooring. She offered storage facilities for several years before being retired for good.

As of 2011 the TI class sister ships TI Europe and TI Oceania are the biggest working vessels in the worlds. Built in 2002 and 2003 each super tanker measures 380 meters and has a capacity of 441,500 DWT. The two sister ship remain the largest working ships as of 2011 but the future will tell if there will be any changes to the past record breakers.

Super tankers remain the second cheapest mode of oil transport after underwater pipe lines and the usage, demand and construction of these vessels will continue in the future. Only the future will tell of the largest super tanker and its history, as human demands for oil increase and supertanker construction breaks new barriers.

 

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