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Physical Behavior of Crude Oil During Transportation and Its Impact on the Carriage of Crude Oil by Sea

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The content, purpose and findings of a research program undertaken between 1996 and 1999 into the behavior of crude oil during transport is reviewed. Crude oil, being the most complex liquid carried by sea, required investigation due to its behavioral characteristics that impact the efficiency of its transportation, handling and general tanker operations. The research program broke the subject matter down to the three phases of crude oil each of which, either on its own or in conjunction with other phases, creates problems onboard tankers. Clearly the three physical phases are those of the vapor, liquid and sludge phases. The program collected both data of diverse type/description from the numerous vessels participating in the program together with cargo samples of the various types of crude oil carried for each voyage. The samples were obtained at discrete points throughout the voyage and discharge of the diverse cargoes and were subsequently analyzed for their physico-chemical properties. With the analytical information of the various cargoes and the cargo and environmental reports from the vessels, researchers can gain an overview as to the diverse types of behavior occurring to the cargoes during their transportation. Subsequent empirical modeling of a proportion of the data has allowed equations to be created that would assist a vessel's command to gain an insight into cargo behavior that would assist in decision making for operational matters. This paper provides the initial information and models developed as a result of this extensive piece of data collection and work.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2002

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