Login/Sign up

World Association of International Studies

Post Tanker Crews and Pilfered Oil
Created by John Eipper on 07/22/21 11:07 AM

Previous posts in this discussion:


Tanker Crews and Pilfered Oil (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 07/22/21 11:07 am)

I have written in past WAIS posts about "smart" Captains/Chief Engineers who pilfer crude oil cargo, blending it with the ship's fuel oil but risking an explosion with the loss of the ship.

But other Captains/Chief Engineers were even "smarter," as they took cargo to sell on the high seas to small smuggling tankers.

When the tanker arrives at the discharge port a measurement is made with the Chief Officer and a Receiver representative prior to the discharge.  Generally, the quantity is correct in relation to the measurement from the loading port. A small loss is tolerated, especially after long voyages and warm seas because of evaporation.  For instance, this is common on trips around the African Cape.

When I was port captain at Chicago, a sister company had a chartered ship that on every trip would discharge cargo with a great loss but everything appeared to be correct. So I went to inspect her in a port on the US East Coast.

As soon I was on board, the Levantine Captain was extremely friendly and spoke fairly good English.  Then when he understood that I was Italian he started speaking Italian and seemed that he had found a lost brother.  Oh well, we were Mediterranean brothers, one face and one race. He offered me the usual whiskey and cigarettes, but at that time I drank only wine and did not smoke.  But I enjoyed the nice meal.

I went on inspection and at first, I found nothing wrong.

To check if a tank was empty a probe/sound is lowered into the tank from a special sounding spot until it reaches the bottom.  Then it is brought back and if the probe is clean of oil, or just with the very tip covered in oil, it means that the tank is empty.

All tanks of the tanker seemed completely dry. But as I was not satisfied I lowered the probe from other openings on the deck, the Butterworth holes (such holes were used to lower the butterworth hoses to wash the tanks), and I found one foot of oil in each tank. The "smart" crew had built a secondary bottom one foot high, so even if on the bottom of the tank there was one foot of cargo, which a is a great quantity, the tank seemed completely dry.

When I went back to the Captain telling him what I had found, the poor fellow forgot both Italian and English. He requested a translator to gain time and to contact his owner, clearly an accomplice in the monkey business.

The full matter remained in the hands of the judicial system.

By the way, the Levantine crews at my time were probably the best seamen in the world.  They could sail on ships that were floating wrecks, going around with no big problems.  Of course they were taking risks.  The concept of "Safety First" for most of them was only an empty slogan. One of them, when I was loading master at Mina Saud, had the captain trying to chip on the deck while loading, which is one the most dangerous actions possible.

JE comments:  Eugenio, I'm curious how many barrels of oil can fit in that one foot of tanker space.  And what happened to the larcenous captain.  Here's a truism:  nobody is better able to steal from you than your own employees.

Nice sleuthing!

Rate this post
Informational value 
Reader Ratings (0)
Informational value0%

Visits: 120


Please login/register to reply or comment: Login/Sign up

  • How Many Barrels in One Foot of Oil Tanker? (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 07/23/21 7:53 AM)

    John E asked, how many barrels in one foot of oil at the bottom of a tanker?

    It depends of course on the size of the vessel. I do not remember exactly for the specific case I wrote about yesterday, but probably it was at least 10,500 barrels. I did not make the calculation at the time, because as soon I discovered the trick the Receivers took over.

    I do not know what happened to the larcenous Captain, as the matter was passed along to our sister company. For sure the captain was in serious trouble.

    JE comments: At $50 per barrel, that would be over half a million. Not a bad day's "work" for the dregs on the bottom of your boat...

    Please login/register to reply or comment:

Trending Now

All Forums with Published Content (44645 posts)

- Unassigned

Culture & Language

American Indians Art Awards Bestiary of Insults Books Conspiracy Theories Culture Ethics Film Food Futurology Gender Issues Humor Intellectuals Jews Language Literature Media Coverage Movies Music Newspapers Numismatics Philosophy Plagiarism Prisons Racial Issues Sports Tattoos Western Civilization World Communications


Capitalism Economics International Finance World Bank World Economy


Education Hoover Institution Journal Publications Libraries Universities World Bibliography Series


Biographies Conspiracies Crime Decline of West German Holocaust Historical Figures History Holocausts Individuals Japanese Holocaust Leaders Learning Biographies Learning History Russian Holocaust Turkish Holocaust


Afghanistan Africa Albania Algeria Argentina Asia Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Central America Chechnya Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark East Europe East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Estonia Ethiopia Europe European Union Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guatemala Haiti Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Persia) Iraq Ireland Israel/Palestine Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latin America Liberia Libya Mali Mexico Middle East Mongolia Morocco Namibia Nations Compared Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North America Norway Pacific Islands Pakistan Palestine Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Polombia Portugal Romania Saudi Arabia Scandinavia Scotland Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa South America Southeast Asia Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Syria Thailand The Pacific Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine USA (America) USSR/Russia Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Europe Yemen Yugoslavia Zaire


Balkanization Communism Constitutions Democracy Dictators Diplomacy Floism Global Issues Hegemony Homeland Security Human Rights Immigration International Events Law Nationalism NATO Organizations Peace Politics Terrorism United Nations US Elections 2008 US Elections 2012 US Elections 2016 US Elections 2020 Violence War War Crimes Within the US


Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Liberation Theology Religion

Science & Technology

Alcohol Anthropology Automotives Biological Weapons Design and Architecture Drugs Energy Environment Internet Landmines Mathematics Medicine Natural Disasters Psychology Recycling Research Science and Humanities Sexuality Space Technology World Wide Web (Internet)


Geography Maps Tourism Transportation


1-TRIBUTES TO PROFESSOR HILTON 2001 Conference on Globalizations Academic WAR Forums Ask WAIS Experts Benefactors Chairman General News Member Information Member Nomination PAIS Research News Ronald Hilton Quotes Seasonal Messages Tributes to Prof. Hilton Varia Various Topics WAIS WAIS 2006 Conference WAIS Board Members WAIS History WAIS Interviews WAIS NEWS waisworld.org launch WAR Forums on Media & Research Who's Who