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Sample Position

Ring flangeIMO Resolution MEPC 182 (59) – 2009 Guidelines for the sampling of fuel oil for determination of compliance with the revised MARPOL Annex VI  requires that a fuel sample delivered to the ship should be obtained at the receiving ship’s inlet bunker manifold and should be drawn continuously during the bunker delivery period.
 
It should be also noted that the ISO 8217 fuel specification refers to “the required properties of the fuels at the time and place of custody transfer”. This point of custody transfer is normally at the ship’s manifold. The following points should be appreciated. In most countries, the Customs Authority imposes duty on the product blended on shore, while the bunker fuel remains duty free if blended over the ship’s rail.
 
The maintenance of fuel quality in the distribution system is not totally predictable, not only because of occasional deliberate malpractice but mainly due to the fact that genuine accidents can occur. In view of the fact that in many cases the bunkers are blended shortly prior to the delivery, the place of custody transfer is the last point of checking the actual quality of the product delivered.
 
Many bunker suppliers state in their General Terms and Conditions that:
“The delivery shall be deemed completed when the oil has passed the flange connecting the seller’s delivery facility with the receiving facilities provided by the buyer, at which point the seller’s responsibility shall cease and the buyer shall assume all risks.”


Fuel Oil Sample Collection
 
The tube within the sampler and sample valve should always be cleaned before use. This can be achieved by removing the tube, simply flushing it with a clean distillate fuel and allowing it to drain thoroughly before installing. The use of low flash point solvents is not recommended for cleaning the sampler. The tube should always be installed with the holes facing the direction as shown.

Bunker sampler manifold

Above: sampler manifold
 
When bunkering starts, place a container under the sampler, open the sampler valve fully and flush the sampler with fuel. Close the valve and attach a cubitainer onto the valve as shown.
 
Adjust the needle valve to give a slow and steady drip. Time the fill rate to estimate that it will provide for sufficient sample over the expected delivery period. If the cubitainer fills during the bunkering period, remove it and add a numbered, tamper evident cap. Place an empty cubitainer on the sampler and continue to draw a sample. On completion of the bunkering, remove and seal the cubitainer, fully open the sampler valve and allow the sampler to drain.

  • Always close the sampler valve before blowing through the fuel lines on completion of bunkering
  • Close the sampler valve if pumping stops, to prevent the sample being drawn back, under vacuum, into the fuel line
  • Always get the barge operator to witness removal and sealing of the cubitainer. If this request is refused, or if no witness is provided, then note this in the delivery log

Comments:

Cubitainers are used to collect a sample. The figure shows the position of the bunker sampler with the minimum working clearance required.  It should be noted that the sample is collected in a cubitainer. This is a consumable item of typically 5 litre capacity which is attached to the needle valve.

A wide range of Bunker Sampling equipment is available from Parker Kittiwake.

 

Off-line Bunker Fuel

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