Marine crude oil transport – global voyage losses

The Energy Institute (EI) HMC4A Marine Oil Transportation Database Committee has been collecting and
analysing worldwide oil shipping data for over 20 years and meets twice a year. The 2012 autumn
meeting was held in Houston in Committee members submit their voyage measurement data annually.
They receive a global analysis and confidential individual company reports.
The following member companies submitted data for 2012 – BP Oil International, CEPSA, Chevron,
Chinese Petroleum Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Eni, ExxonMobil, Marathon Petroleum, Petrobras,
Petrogal (GALP Energia), Phillips 66, PMI Pemex, Repsol, Saras, Shell, Statoil and Total. The main findings
from the global analysis are presented below.

Database development
The total number of voyages reported for 2012 increased slightly to just over 9,600. However, the
number of voyages reported with both bill of lading (BOL) and outturn data fell, with a number of
members undergoing systems changes.
The reported BOL volume totalled 5.52bn barrels, a fall of around 4% compared with 2011. The volume
of crude with complete data fell to 3.9bn barrels, as shown in Figure 1. The BP Statistical Review of
World Energy gives global crude seaborne trade for 2012 as 14.1bn barrels, up about 1.3% compared
with 2011. The database therefore includes almost 40% of the global volume at BOL and contains
complete load and discharge data for just under 30% of global volume.
Global losses
Losses have been falling consistently since 2001 and fell to a record low net standard volume (NSV) loss
of –0.161% in 2010 (by convention losses are given as negative). However, the 2011 figures show an
increased loss of –0.172% and this figure was repeated in 2012. It must be noted that losses include
apparent as well as physical losses. Apparent losses result from the combination of fixed and random
errors in the measurement systems used at load and discharge.
The mean NSV loss from the database from 1993 to 2012 is plotted in Figure 1. Global loss showed no
major change between 1995 and 2000. A significant increase in mean NSV loss to –0.21% occurred
between 2000 and 2001, but this has been more than reversed over recent years with the increase
noted in 2011 being the first significant increase since 2000/2001.
Gross or total calculated volume (TCV) loss fell between 1990 and 1994 but rose again to around –0.15%
in 2000, staying fairly constant up to 2007, while water losses continued to fall. Changes in TCV loss have
driven NSV losses since 2006 and it was a rise from –0.134% in 2010 to –0.149% in 2011 which led to the
increased NSV loss in 2011, repeated in 2012. Water loss fell slightly between 2010 and 2011 to partly
TCV loss comprises any real losses due to evaporation plus any apparent losses due to systematic
measurement differences. Water loss represents any additional water reported at discharge compared
with that reported at load; ie an accounting loss in terms of oil quantity but not a real loss of either oil or