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Process safety

Ship-to-ship crude oil transfer operation

We were the first foreign company to carry out a ship-to-ship (STS) transfer in Brazilian waters. The operation lasted for five days, during which we transferred one million barrels of oil without any S&E incidents. Repsol Sinopec Brasil completed the transfer successfully on December 21st, 2016. This achievement will optimize and increase the flexibility of commercial crude operations.

The ship-to-ship transfer process was planned and supervised by Repsol Sinopec Brasil and carried out by Fendercare Marine, a specialized ship-to-ship cargo transfer company with over 20 years experience that performs over 2,800 STS operations every year.

Months were spent preparing the operation. An exhaustive safety and environment (S&E) assessment was also carried out. The S&E department reviewed all the documentation related to the STS operation and created a comprehensive and detailed emergency response plan.

Over these months of preparation, five audits were performed at the STS operators land base to guarantee compliance with our company's operational standards, and the Vetting and Trading S&E areas made the pertinent comments.

The first test of the emergency response plan took place on October 20th with a theoretical crude spill response simulation, followed by a practical emergency response simulation in the Repsol Sinopec Brasil headquarters and the STS operations base, situated in the Santos basin. A two-day HAZID (Hazard Identification Procedure) workshop was also organized by Repsol Sinopec Brasil S&E in October, attended by representatives of the oil tankers, the STS operator (Fendercare), the oil spill response equipment provider, and representatives from Reposl Sinopec Brasil's S&E team and the sales department. The workshop participants identified 93 risks and issued 12 recommendations.

During the preparation period, the S&E team inspected and supervised the loading and unloading of the equipment on the support vessel. One S&E representative was also present on board the oil tanker and another on the support vessel throughout the operation.

Operational safety

  • Exhaustive evaluation of the Safety and Environment measures put in place during the operation.
  • Five audits to guarantee compliance with international standards and local regulations.
  • Preparation of an emergency response plan in the event of incidents.